Lionel Messi (Finally) Ends the GOAT Debate Once and For All
Hearts beat louder than drums, pulses raced, and tensions were so thick that it could have been cut with a butter knife as Argentina battled it out with France for the golden trophy.
The first half of the game was dominated by Argentina as Lionel Messi and Di Maria both scored two goals for their country, leaving France in the dust. All hope seemed lost, but France came back strong in the second half thanks to the exceptional skill and sharp wit of the young legend in the making, Kylian Mbappe who scored three exceptional goals for his country. Messi scored his second (controversial) goal in the second half, making the two teams equalize with a 3-3 tally.
Argentina ended up winning the World Cup on penalties, beating France 4-2 and lifting the 18-carat gold trophy for their country after 36.5 years. The last time Argentina won the World Cup was in 1986 when Diego Maradona was still a player. It had always been Messi’s dream to win a World Cup for his home country and that dream was finally fulfilled on Sunday. He broke records at Qatar 2022 and will forever be remembered, retirement or not, as one of the greatest players in football history.
Messi led his team to victory and with his goals and appearances at the World Cup, he was honored with the Golden Ball Award at the finals award ceremony. He broke the record as the first-ever player to win the award twice. He won the same award at the 2014 World Cup.
He was named the official Player of the Match in five of the seven games that Argentina played in Qatar. That brings his total to eleven career Player of the Match trophies−the most for any player in history. The previous record was held by Cristiano Ronaldo (seven Player of the Match trophies).
Messi currently ties with France’s Just Fontaine as the third-top goal scorer in World Cup history (13 goals). In Qatar, he scored in every round of the World Cup, from the group stage down to the finals. No player has ever achieved such a marvelous feat. Apart from scoring goals, he is now the first player to render an assist in five different World Cup tournaments− 2006, 2010, 2014, 2018, and 2022.
Who is your GOAT?