With five goals and three assists – Messi’s last ever World Cup will be remembered as his best

FPL360
By FPL360
With five goals and three assists – Messi’s last ever World Cup will be remembered as his best

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Final confirmed 

Lionel Messi astonished the World on Tuesday when he all but single-handedly dragged Argentina to the finals of the 2022 World Cup. Although Julián Álvarez left the field with an impressive brace, the 3-0 victory over Luka Modric & Co. was in no small part due to the Paris Saint-Germain star’s fantastic penalty in the 34th minute and amazing run in the 69th minute to set up his compatriot for the third and final goal. 

Indeed, Josko Gvardiol and the entire Croatian team couldn’t get near the 35-year-old talent as he seemingly turned back the clock and darted through the opposing defence as if they weren’t there. And to many fans and critics alike, it would seem as though Messi is in the form of his life for the Argentina national team. 

World Cup’s all-time top goalscorers”>

The World Cup’s all-time top goalscorers

Eusébio | Portugal | six games – nine goals

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Gary Lineker | England | 12 games – 10 goals

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Gabriel Batistuta | Argentina | 12 games – 10 goals

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Helmut Rahn | Germany | 10 games – 10 goals

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Teófilo Cubillas | Peru | 13 games – 10 goals

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Grzegorz Lato | Poland | 20 games – 10 goals

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Thomas Müller | Germany | 17 games – 10 goals

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Jürgen Klinsmann | Germany | 17 games – 11 goals

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Sándor Kocsis | Hungary | 5 games – 11 goals

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Pelé | Brazil | 14 games – 12 goals

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Just Fontaine | France | 6 games – 13 goals

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Gerd Müller | Germany | 13 games – 14 goals

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Ronaldo | Brazil | 19 games – 15 goals

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Miroslav Klose | Germany | 24 games – 16 goals

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Unfortunately, the former Barcelona star confirmed after the match that Sunday’s final against France or Morocco will be his concluding game in a World Cup for his nation. “I am very happy for finishing my journey in World Cups in a final, to play the last game in a final. That is really very gratifying,” Messi told reporters after the game. “Everything that I lived in this World Cup has been emotional, seeing how much it has been enjoyed in Argentina. There are a lot of years from this year to the next one. I don’t think I will be able to do that. To finish this way is brilliant.” However, fortunately for Argentina fans, it would seem as though the forward has saved his best for his very last tournament. And it could end up proving vital to the nation lifting their first World Cup in over 30 years. 

Has the 2022 World Cup been Messi’s best? 

Messi made his World Cup debut in the 2006 tournament, where he bagged two goals and assists in three appearances. Which was certainly not a bad return for little more than 122 minutes of game time. However, both goal contributions came in a 6-0 thumping of Serbia and Montenegro. The player’s next World Cup wasn’t quite as impressive. Despite Argentina reaching the quarter-finals of the tournament in South Africa, Messi only managed one assist and no goals in five appearances and, perhaps crucially, failed to help his side overcome a bitter 4-0 defeat to Germany. 

World cup record” src=”https://tmssl.akamaized.net/images/foto/newsansicht/lionel-messi-World-cup-record-1671029506-98512.png?lm=1671029525″ alt=”Lionel Messi World cup record” width=”503″ height=”629″/>

Jogi Löw’s Germany would be another thorn in Messi’s side at the 2014 World Cup, where the then Barcelona star looked far brighter with five goals and assists in his first four games of the tournament. However, despite helping his side reach the final in Brazil, Messi was once again unable to break down Germany’s defence and was forced to settle for second place. With three goals and assists in the 2018 World Cup, Messi actually clocked his best average at a World Cup finals since becoming an established starter for his nation. With 0.75 goals and assists per 90 at the tournament, the forward more than tripled his return at the 2010 World Cup, but that wasn’t enough to help his side from getting knocked out of the Round of 16 by eventual winners France.

 

World Cup”>

Ronaldo, Modric & Co. – The oldest players at the 2022 World Cup

Alfredo Talavera | Mexico | 40 years old

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Market value: €800k

Atiba Hutchinson | Canada | 39 years old

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Market value: €200k

Pepe | Portugal | 39 years old

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Market value: €1m

Eiji Kawashima | Japan | 39 years old

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Market value: €200k

Dani Alves | Brazil | 39 years old

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Market value: €1m

Remko Pasveer | Netherlands | 39 years old

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Market value: €250k

Aymen Balbouli | Tunisia | 38 years old

Market value: €50k

Thiago Silva | Brazil | 38 years old

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Market value: €2.5m

Cristiano Ronaldo | Portugal | 37 years old

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Market value: €20m

Danny Vukovic | Australia | 37 years old

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Market value: €150k

Steve Mandanda | France | 37 years old

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Market value: €1.5m

Guillermo Ochoa | Mexico | 37 years old

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Market value: €1.2m

Bryan Ruiz | Costa Rica | 37 years old

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Market value: €150k

Luka Modric | Croatia | 37 years old

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Market value: €10m

Diego Godín | Uruguay | 36 years old

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Market value: €700k

Manuel Neuer | Germany | 36 years old

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Market value: €12m

Fernando Muslera | Uruguay | 36 years old

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Market value: €1.7m

Sebastián Sosa | Uruguay | 36 years old

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Market value: €800k

Yuto Nagatomo | Japan | 36 years old

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Market value: €400k

Andrés Guardado | Mexico | 36 years old

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Market value: €1.5m

Olivier Giroud | France | 36 years old

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Market value: €4m

Franco Armani | Argentina | 36 years old

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Market value: €3.2m

Kasper Schmeichel | Denmark | 36 years old

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Market value: €2.5m

However, this time around in Qatar, it seems as though Messi has finally been able to couple good personal form with an Argentina side that knows how to win games and progress through the tournament. The player’s five goals and three assists in six games is not only his best return at a World Cup but almost more than his return at the last four competitions combined. And, as Croatia found out recently, he’s in the kind of form that means whoever Argentina face in the final, there’s no way anyone can count out the little magician from concluding his time with the competition with the ultimate prize. 


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