Argentina wins 2022 World Cup and Lionel Messi gets the legacy-defining dream ending he deserves
Messi delivered in style as Argentina won their first World Cup since Maradona’s magical run 36 years ago
His two goals in the final took him beyond Pele in the list of the World Cup’s greatest scorers, the first player to win two Golden Balls for the best player at the conclusion.
When fans see their first Messi game in person, it is the moments that don’t always burst off the scree: The flicks, no-look passes and appreciation of space. Doubtless, those at the final saw them by the dozen. In that context, it seems ludicrous to view Messi against footballing peers. He is to be compared to The Beatles, Michelangelo or Steven Spielberg. He has brought joy to the masses like few others. How appropriate that he gets to sign off from Argentina duty with the most joyous of moments for himself.
FIFA World Cup: Lionel Messi becomes first to score at all stages of single WC
Lionel Messi’s goal from the spot in the 23rd minute of the game made him the only player to score in all stages of a World Cup, which includes the group stages, the round of 16s, quarter-finals, semi-finals, and the final.
He has often been described as a magician; a conjurer, creating goals and opportunities where seemingly none exist. Growing up in a tight-knit, football-loving family, “Leo” developed a passion for the sport from an early age, playing constantly with his older brothers, Rodrigo and Matías, and his cousins, Maximiliano and Emanuel Biancucchi, both of whom became professional footballers. At the age of four he joined local club Grandoli, where he was coached by his father, though his earliest influence as a player came from his maternal grandmother, Celia, who accompanied him to training and matches. He was greatly affected by her death, shortly before his eleventh birthday; since then, as a devout Roman Catholic, he has celebrated his goals by looking up and pointing to the sky in tribute to his grandmother.
Like any great artist, the aging soccer phenom showed a youth-obsessed world the potential glory of a late-style triumph.
Lionel Messi should be appreciated by fans of all countries at the FIFA World Cup as he will be missed like Roger Federer “and more” when he retires, says Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni.
Image courtesy ewrestlingnews.com