QATAR: Lionel Messi reportedly declared that the 2022 FIFA World Cup final would be his last match for Argentina.
Argentina beat Croatia 3-0 on Wednesday in the first semi-final, with goals from Messi, who also assisted in the third.
Lionel Messi emerges as a leading scorer
Messi has now outscored Gabriel Batistuta’s ten goals at the World Cup, surpassing him to become Argentina’s all-time leading scorer. At the World Cup, the 35-year-old has already netted 11 goals.
“I am really delighted to be able to do this, to finish my World Cup tour by playing my last game in a final,” Messi reportedly told Argentine reporters.
“The next one is many years away, and I doubt I’ll be able to do it and this is the best way to end,” he added.
Last night, Argentina, spearheaded by Lionel Messi, defeated Croatia with ease to advance directly to the FIFA World Cup final. In their sixth final, the two-time champions are one victory away from lifting the cherished trophy for the first time since 1986.
The forward for Manchester City, Julian Alvarez, scored twice to make it four goals in as many games for the competition.
Argentina made it to the 2014 World Cup finals but lost to Germany. Messi is eager and determined to win Argentina’s third World Cup, following victories in 1978 and 1986, to cap off a remarkable career.
Argentina was one of the tournament favourites when they came to Qatar, but after losing their opening group match 1-2 to underdog Saudi Arabia, questions began to surface. Before travelling to Doha, they had 36 games in which they had not lost.
The two-time champions will now play either Morocco or the defending champions France in the final, which will be held on Sunday at the Lusail Stadium.