Argentinian legend Lionel Messi has officially stated that Sunday’s 2022 World Cup final match will be his last match too.
“I feel very happy to be able to achieve this, to finish my World Cup journey by playing my last game in a final,” Messi revealed to an Argentine media outlet.
“It’s many years for the next one, and I don’t think I’ll be able to do it. And to finish like this, it’s the best,” Messi continued.
Lionel Messi led Argentina to their enthralling victory of 3-0 against Croatia in their semi-final match earlier this Tuesday. He is set to record his 172nd cap in Argentine colors on this weekend’s finale match, where he will enter the last dance to hail himself as the greatest of all time.
After crushing Croatia’s aspirations to finally win the Cup in 2022 after ending up as runner-ups in 2018, the Argentinian captain urged his teammates to “enjoy” the moment before readying themselves for their final game against either France or Morocco.
“Argentina are, once again, in the World Cup final. Enjoy it!” said the enthusiastic Messi.
The 35-year-old PSG player has surpassed Diego Maradona’s and Javier Mascherano’s feat of playing at four World Cups, with the 2022 tournament being Messi’s fifth.
After scoring his fifth World Cup goal in the 2022 edition of the global showpiece, he also broke Gabriel Batistuta’s record to become the all-time top scorer for Argentina, having netted the ball a total of 11 times in the tournament.
“It’s all well and good (the records), but the important thing is to be able to achieve the group objective, which is the most beautiful thing of all,” Messi added. “We’re just one step away after fighting hard, and we’re going to give everything to try to make it happen this time.”
Argentina’s destructive 3-0 victory against Croatia has compelled thousands of Argentinian supporters and fans to step out in the streets and celebrate the country’s sixth finale appearance.
“We’re an intelligent squad; we know how to read the game, we know how to suffer when necessary when to press. Every detail counts in every match,” said Lionel Messi ascertaining his determination to win the 2022 tournament.
“We knew that sometimes they were not really tidy and would leave space behind.”