Lionnel Messi’s World Cup

Carnival of football -FIFA World Cup ended on Sunday in Qatar after Argentina beat France 4-2 via penalty shootout in a memorable and dramatic final.Finally Messi won the biggest trophy missing from his royal collection.He scored 7 goals and three assists to guide his side to a famous title winning run.

Poor start

Argentina started their campaign with a 2-1 loss against Saudi Arabia which shocked not only their fans but also entire football community world over.At that stage,Messi and Co.was in danger of bowing out early in the competition.

Reaching the knockout

However Argentina kept alive their hopes of lifting the trophy for the first time since 1986 with identical (2-0) wins over tough opponents-Mexico and Poland in Group C.

Argentina beat Australia 2-1 thanks to goals from Messi and Alvarez in a round of 16 clash which set up date with Netherlands in a quarterfinal.In an explosive and frentic last eight battle,South American side prevailed 4-3 in a shootout after squandering 2-0 lead in regular time.Emi Martinez saved two penalties to lift Argentina and powered them to the semifinals.

Argentina beat Croatia 3-0 in the semifinals with Messi and Alvarez appearing again on the scoresheets.

Final hurdle

Biggest test for Argentina was against France in the summit clash.Playing against his PSG teammate Kylian Mbappe it was always a match up between the two stars of this World Cup.French striker with his rapid speed and solid power has scored goals with ease beating a lot of good defenders in this World Cup.

Dramatic game

Final began with Messi converting a penalty given due to foul by Dembele in 23rd minute.Di Maria put Argentina 2-0 ahead in 36th minutes.Until 80th minute of second half,it looked like France were out of it with Argentina all over the French players.It needed a moment of magic for France to claw back and who else other than 23 year old talismanic Mbappe who scored two in a couple of minutes which levelled the contest 2-2 in a regular time.There was more drama in extra time as Messi put Argentina ahead early in the second period.With just two minutes to go for final hooter,Kylian scored a spot kick to revive France hopes with his hattrick- first player to do so since 1966.In the shootout that followed,Emi Martinez once again showed his class as French takers were in disarray after their misses.Argentina edged France 4-2 to lift third World Cup title.

It was really about Lionnel Messi as he has won 10 La Liga titles with Barcelona.He won four Champions League titles.Messi won Copa America in 2021.So the only big thing to haunt him was World Cup.And here he is-now with a World Cup in his hands.Now he has silenced his critics with his exploits in Qatar.Messi has also outpunched his current and longtime rival Cristiano Ronaldo for GOAT.



Shailesh Padhye












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