Messi’s last World Cup is not just a competition. It’s a reason, a riot World Cup 2022

Lionel Messi said goodbye as he wished. Or at least the stage for it. Striker on Sunday – well-known fault at international level – he will play his sixth grand final with Argentina. This will be his 26th World Cup match, more than anyone else ever, yet another record met; It will also be his last.

“I’m happy to be able to finish my journey in the final and everything I’ve experienced here is beautiful,” said Messi at the end of another night, embellished by another moment. . It’s four days now.

four days. One night. Everyone “knew” that this would be Messi’s last game World Cup, the feeling that you will never see him stick to every game again. He knew that too, and that’s part of the way it is: duty, destiny, or just pleasure. Seize the day, there’s not much left. And yet, 16 years after the first as a backup He Upon hearing that the 6-0 win against Serbia and Montenegro was still hitting. Wait a minute? Will the final be your last? “Yes, it definitely will,” said Messi on Tuesday night. “There are many years until the next [World Cup] And I don’t think I will succeed. It’s nice to end this way.”

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So this is goodbye Argentina worried. Still, what a way to go. It’s not over yet: the biggest game awaits you. Of course it’s huge. But even getting there felt like something had been gained, an enlightenment achieved. By and about Messi. You don’t know what you have until it’s (almost) gone. Late at the Lusail Stadium, a Level 0 Argentine television reporter chose not to ask his last question. Instead, he used the clip you may have seen so far to say thank you: “Whatever the outcome, you’ve made people happy,” he said. “You’ve impacted everyone’s lives.”

In the end, he made himself happy, too, with a little more help from his new and old friends. At the end of the 2016 Copa América, he lost to Chile in the final and walked away. He had not always felt embraced, his weight was overwhelming; He said he came to feel that it was all his fault. As she was told here: “You had to eat a lot of shit.” Yes, he agreed, but now the situation is different. “I’ve been enjoying everything that’s happened to us for a while. It makes me happy to be able to finish all this in the final.”

That was the doctrine of Administrator Lionel Scaloni: the sun will rise tomorrow. Messi embraced this message and the remaining time; it also became his message, and there was a feeling that his teammates were invested not only in Argentina’s success, but also in the happiness of doing some kind of justice.

“People understood that it was something we had to enjoy,” Messi said. “We’ve done extraordinary things: Copa America, 36 unbeaten matches, and a World Cup final. Obviously we all want to win but this is a football game and anything can happen. I hope this will be different from Brazil [in 2014, when they lost against Germany]. I don’t know if this is my best World Cup, but I’ve been enjoying it since we’ve been here.”

He has 5 goals and 3 assists for Qatar. The star moments here belong to him. His goal against Mexico and Australia, both very Messi, has been seen a thousand times if not exactly like that. stupid help against Croatiainstant iconography: Josko Gvardiol, the defender everyone’s talking about, turned inside out and back, hips broken, legs tied in a cartoon knot.

Messi leads the tournament statistics in goals, assists, chances created, dribbling and fouls. That still hasn’t stopped him. He played every minute. He became a Maradonist. he was do a maradona, actually. And it’s not just about perfection; There is energy, expression of commitment, identification. victim Messi was holding his hamstring for a long time, then he did. He this is Guardiola. It’s all about refusing to quit: it was he who later declared that it wasn’t done. Saudi Arabia defeat. Leadership attracts them. It may not be a moment of skill like the semi-final, but that doesn’t compare to the goal he scored against Mexico.

Argentina's Lionel Messi rejoiced after beating Croatia 3-0.
Lionel Messi’s Argentine teammates want to help the star man finish his World Cup career with the top prize. Photo: Shaun Botterill/Fifa/Getty Images

There was an outburst of anger before the goal. against Australia. conflicts against the Netherlands. Edge, aggression, crap if you will. : what are you looking at stupid Argentine fans loved it. Messi looks the same. “He’s always been like that,” Scaloni insists, and he’s got a fierce, angry opponent inside him, but it was instructive that the coach had to say that. They had never felt this close to him, and he had never felt them that way. It’s not just a competition, it’s a cause. And rebellion.

“Sometimes it’s an extreme situation, it’s not easy to go out on the field knowing you have to win, or you go home. We’ve been doing this since the second game. It has a huge mental cost and the group overcame it,” he said. “We’ve played five ‘finals’ and there’s one more.”

It would be wrong to forget how he led them to the finals before, but this is something else again. It looks different, sounds different, acts different. At least as there is a different generation on the journey with him, his role is changing, some of the weight of the past has been lightened, left behind. Still, Scaloni says there is a legacy in what he left them. They too were desperate to give him this last dance.

“What he did in the Copa América was incredible, but I’ve never seen anything like this World Cup in my life,” said goalkeeper Emiliano Martínez. Cristian Romero added: “This is insane. Everyone knows what kind of actor he is, but this is what kind of person he is. He is an example, a man who always wants more. He’s taken a lot of blows, but he gets up again every time.”

A photo has been circulating in the past few days: In this photo, 11-year-old Julián Álvarez is standing next to his idol, Lionel Messi. Now he has another 11 years: this time after Manchester City’s goal against Croatia, his teammates, Messi hold him in a yoke and teleport.

“It’s amazing what Leo can do,” he said, and saw firsthand that he was there to finish an impossible assist, the best of the competition. Except maybe the one that Messi gave to Nahuel Molina in the previous round.

Messi provided that pass and the interception pass that freed Álvarez to run and rally to score the second goal. Meanwhile, it was Enzo Fernández who sent the ball that caused Messi to score the first goal from the penalty spot. And he grew up watching the man who gave Argentina the lead, catching them and dragging them, like Maradona, into a second World Cup final.

In 2016, when Messi was contemplating leaving, Fernández posted a message on Facebook in which he apologized and thanked him. He wrote: “How can a handful of people who don’t live with 1% of your pressure try to convince you, 40 million people who don’t know you and make ridiculous demands for perfection? Do whatever you want but consider staying and enjoying it.”

Now finally, the time of his and their life carries us all to a final farewell.

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