ONE World Cup.
For all of the unrivalled numbers on Lionel Messi’s resume – the seven Ballon D’ors, 4 Champions League trophies, 10 Spanish league titles, Olympic gold and even his breakthrough 2021 Copa America – there was at all times one lacking.
But after 1003 video games and 793 objectives – together with two extra on this 3-3 draw – Messi has the one accolade that ensures soccer immortality. One World Cup.
And now that he’s gained world sport’s most coveted trophy, after additionally scoring within the penalty shootout, it’s turn into inconceivable for anybody to argue critically he’s not the best participant of all time.
Indeed, the goat emoji was getting tweeted out like by no means earlier than within the seconds after Argentina’s victory.
Messi capped a match that may now see Messi ‘22 remembered like Maradona ‘86 by guaranteeing Argentina by no means trailed in what will likely be remembered as one of many biggest video games in historical past.
The 35-year-old had given Argentina the lead from the penalty spot within the first half earlier than Angel Di Maria made it 2-0.
The Argentinians seemed to be cruising to victory till Kylian Mbappe scored twice within the eightieth and 81st minutes to stage it at 2-2.
France seemed the likelier staff to go on and win it, however Messi put Argentina 3-2 forward in extra-time after poking residence from shut vary after Lautaro Martinez’s shot was parried by France goalkeeper Hugo Lloris.
But there was extra drama two minutes from the top of extra-time when Montiel conceded a penalty for handball.
Messi’s Paris Saint-Germain teammate Mbappe stepped as much as rating from the spot for the second time to take the sport to penalties.
But Argentina wouldn’t be denied and Messi stepped as much as calmly take the opening spot kick and so they by no means seemed again.
Lionel Messi scores within the penalty shootout. (Photo by Giuseppe CACACE / AFP)Source: AFP
Messi grew to become the primary participant in historical past to attain within the group stage, spherical of 16, quarterfinals, semi-finals and last in the identical World Cup.
He was an apparent alternative for participant of the match, including a second Golden Ball to the one he gained in 2014 when Argentina misplaced to Germany within the last.
His crowning second was fantastically summed up by Craig Foster within the SBS studio.
“It was a last that was befitting a rare and a deeply unpredictable match, but in addition what it was two titans of the sport who wouldn’t yield,” Foster stated.
“Lionel Messi had this fairytale set-up so completely for him. To step into the enormous, big footwear of Diego Maradona, and no-one else seemingly within the historical past of the sport may have even tried to do this.
“Seven Ballon d’Ors and now you need to try to step as much as heaven and shake fingers with Diego? Only this child may have achieved it.
“And but Kylian Mbappe, who’s going to dominate world soccer for the subsequent 10 years, simply saved saying “no”. To rating three objectives in a World Cup last and be on the shedding aspect is simply completely extraordinary, and that’s since you had this man right here (Messi).”
Argentina’s captain Diego Armando Maradona (L) kissing the World Cup trophy on June 29, 1986 on the Azteca Stadium in Mexico City and Argentina’s ahead Lionel Messi (R) kissing the World Cup trophy after beating France. (Photo by AFP)Source: AFP
Foster stated the consequence solidified an unbreakable bond between Messi and the Argentine folks, which hadn’t at all times been rock stable.
“Last 12 months’s Copa America was when he made that subsequent transition and was in a position to get that (stress) off his shoulders,” he stated.
“He walked away from the nationwide staff some years in the past, however this match has been actually extraordinary to see his progress because the chief of this staff. In reality, because the chief of all Argentines world wide …
“Because he left at 12 years previous and so they noticed him as a Spaniard who was enjoying for them, you already know, a Barca child who was good however not fairly “Us” and Diego was ”Us” …
“(But) this morning he (carried the staff) in a extremely unbelievable manner.”
– with AFP