Following the exciting win at the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Final on 18 December 2022 at the Lusail Stadium, Lionel Messi promised he would play on for Argentina to experience "a few more games being world champion".
The World Cup belongs to Messi and Argentina after Sunday's spectacular final that saw Kylian Mbappe hit a hat-trick for France but still end up on the losing side. A 4-2 victory on penalties after a 3-3 draw gave Argentina their third World Cup success after lifting the trophy in 1978 and 1986. Messi's final appearance on the biggest stage of all ended in a fairy tale manner.
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It was the trophy he had been striving to win before the end of his career, and the 35-year-old finished the tournament with seven goals and three assists, becoming the first player to score in every round and the group stage. He took the Golden Ball award as the best player, but Mbappe pipped him to the Golden Boot with eight goals.
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Messi told TyC Sports:
"Obviously I wanted to close my career with this, I can't ask for anything any more. Thank God, he gave me everything. Closing almost my career like this, it's incredible."
Thanks to his performance during the World Cup final, Messi became the highest-scoring South American player in major international tournaments with 26 goals - 13 in both the World Cup and the Copa America. That took him one goal ahead of Brazil great Ronaldo, who previously held the record.
"After this, what will there be? I was able to get the Copa America, World Cup… It came to me almost at the end," Messi said
"I enjoy being in the national team, the group, I want to continue living a few more games being world champion. It's every little kid's dream, I was lucky to have achieved everything and what I was missing is here."
😍How cute is this moment of H.H. The Amir honouring @imessi with the traditional Qatari 'Bisht' before handing him the champion's trophy! 📹: AlKass pic.twitter.com/lzLM3G8GlX— ILoveQatar - Live (@ILQLive) December 18, 2022
Source and cover image credit: FIFA
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