Lionel Messi is not ready to walk away from Argentina despite his quest for a World Cup winner’s medal ending. The soccer legend secured a major trophy he had missed out on in his career as Argentina beat France 4-2 on penalties in the final at Lusail Stadium on Sunday.
The match ended in a 3–3 draw in extra time, with Messi scoring twice and converting a penalty in the shootout. At the age of 35, this is likely to be his last appearance in football’s biggest tournament, but he confirmed after the match that he intends to play.
“Obviously, I wanted to finish my career with it, (I) couldn’t ask for more,” Messi said. “It’s impressive to end my career like this. What else after that? I have a Copa America, a World Cup. Almost at the end. I love football, what I do. I love being part of the national team, the group. I enjoy a few more matches being the world champion.”
Messi has won the Ballon d’Or award for the best player in the world on seven occasions. He has also won the Champions League four times with former club Barcelona, but the World Cup is the sport’s biggest prize.
Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni said, “If he wants to continue playing, he can stay with us, he is entitled to decide whether he wants to stay with us or not.” “It has been a pleasure to coach him, what he conveys to his team is unique. It’s something I’ve never seen before.”
Messi puts Argentina ahead from the penalty spot and played a role in Angel Di Maria’s goal which made it 2–0 after 36 minutes. Mbappe scored two goals in a span of 97 seconds to take the game into extra time.
Messi put Argentina ahead in the 108th minute, but Embappé’s penalty in the 118th minute saw the Paris Saint-Germain star complete his first hat-trick in a World Cup final in 56 years.
“It’s just crazy that it became a reality like this. I yearned for it so much. I knew God would bring this gift to me, I had the feeling that this (World Cup) is it,” Messi said.
After the World Cup, Messi has 1,003 professional games compared to Cristiano Ronaldo’s 1,145. The total number of goals scored by Messi is 793 while Ronaldo is at 819. When it comes to international football, Messi is two short of the century mark while Ronaldo leads with 118 so far.
ballon d’or awards
Messi: 7 (2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2019, 2021)
Ronaldo: 5 (2008, 2013, 2014, 2016, 2017)
International Golden Boot
Messi: 1 (2021 Copa America)
Ronaldo: 2 (2019 UEFA Nations League, 2020 European Championship)
international golden balls
Messi: 4 (2014 World Cup, 2015 Copa America, 2021 Copa America, 2022 FIFA World Cup)
UEFA Champions League title
Messi: 4 (with Barcelona 2006, 2009, 2011, 2015)
Ronaldo: 5 (2008 with Manchester United; 2014, 2016, 2017, 2018 with Real Madrid)
Messi: 1 (2022 FIFA World Cup)