Argentina’s 36-year old wait for a FIFA World Cup trophy came to an end on Sunday when they defeated France in a breathtaking final at the Lusail Iconic Stadium. It was being touted that this will be Lionel Messi’s last World Cup and possibly, his last international assignment but after the forward contributed seven goals and three assists himself, said he wishes to continue playing.
Lionel Messi wishes to serve his national side further with the “world champion” tag attached with his team. Messi had also won his first international title with Argentina last year when they won the Copa America 2021 beating Brazil in the final. With the World Cup medal added to his cabinet, he now has won all possible trophies that he has contested in.
“No, I’m NOT gonna retire from the national team. I want to keep playing as World Cup champions with Argentina shirt,” said Messi to TYC Sport after the game.
“It’s simply unbelievable. I knew that God was going to give me the Cup, I was sure — it was a big joy for us.I had this big dream since long time, I wanted to close my career with World Cup. I can’t ask more than this.”
Although the Argentines finished with a smile on their face, they had to go through quite a lot of pain throughout the 120 minutes before they could rejoice. France, the outgoing champions, made the Albiceleste sweat vigorously with their venomous attacking display in the second half.
After goals from Angel Di Maria and Lionel Messi gave the side a 2-0 lead, Kylian Mbappe’s brace in 97 seconds towards the end of second half sparked a shocking comeback frmo the French. Messi scored again in extra time to establish Argentina’s lead for the third time, but a late penalty pulled another back for France, making Mbappe the second player to score a hat-trick in a World Cup final.
In the penalties, Emiliano Martinez saved one off Kingsley Coman and Auriel Tchouameni’s shot was dragged wide. Argentina scored with all their shots and won the shootout 4-2. Messi was awarded the Golden Ball for the second time in his career, whilst Mbappe took the Golden Boot and Emiliano Martinez was given the Golden Glove.