Messi: “The final is my last game in a World Cup”
As in every good book or movie, everything must come to an end. And now the end of Leo Messi’s World Cup story is coming to its end. In a statement to Olé, the Argentina player confirmed the 2022 World Cup final in Qatar on Sunday will be his ‘last dance’ in a World Cup. Since he made his debut more than fifteen years ago at the 2006 World Cup in Germany, the man from Rosario has become another icon of the competition, breaking several records in his four tournaments.
Messi excited by World Cup final
Messi may be 35 years but he feels he still has firepower in his legs. If you’re not sure, ask Croatia, who suffered a 3-0 defeat in the semi-final with Messi playing a key role. However, the PSG star will be 39 by the time of the 2026 World Cup and that is a bridge too far, thinks Messi. “I’m very happy to be able to achieve this. To end my World Cup career playing my last match in a final. Everything I experienced in this World Cup has been so exciting, what the people have experienced, and how the people in Argentina are enjoying it”, the attacker began by saying, indicating that the end is near.
“Surely yes, surely the final game will be my last game. There are a number of years before the next World Cup and I don’t think I’ll be there. Ending this way, is the best”, Leo Messi clarified for the Argentinian outlet. Sunday’s final now has a different feel from how it might have been. If Messi, for many the greatest of all time, is able to go out adding a star to Argentina’s shirt – what a tale that will be.
Messi, a chance to win the World Cup with ArgentinaREUTERS
Messi’s dreams in Qatar
The match against Croatia brought the great goal Messi and Argentina set themselves before beginning their journey in the Qatari desert one step closer. “The truth is that many things go through our heads, we are going to play the last game, which is what we want. I’ve been enjoying it a lot for a long time now”, acknowledged the Argentina captain.
Regarding Julián Álvarez’s fine game against Croatia, where he scored two, the second set up by Messi himself, the diminutive PSG player could do nothing but praise his teammate. “Today Julián stands out above all the rest, he paved the way for us, he fought, he ran, he battled everyone. He created, he’s been so important in this World Cup and he deserves it”. To which Messi added: “Despite the fact that we started losing (against Saudi Arabia), we were confident that this squad was going to pull it off.”
Argentina want the fans’ trust to win the World Cup
Messi only asks the fans for one thing, trust. The squad is prepared to do everything they can on the field. “I tell the fans to trust, this squad is amazing, we are going to play one more World Cup final, and enjoy it all. I think about my family, as I always say, which is the best thing for me. The most important thing, that they are with me, always. We have had a hard time but a good time, and now I have to live an amazing moment, enjoying with the people here and in Argentina, which must be beyond belief”.
Messi’s last dance may be his most special one, especially as he has managed to carry an entire nation on his back, breaking records in his wake. “I don’t know if it’s my best World Cup, I’ve been enjoying this very much for a while, since we arrived. What we experienced after we started with a defeat… but we know what we are and what this team can give. Argentina is once again in a World Cup final and we have to enjoy it, we’re going to give it our all in the final, give everything to try to win it”.
In addition, the number 10 was clear about whether he thinks Argentina are favorites to win the trophy. “We knew we could do it, we never lied, we weren’t the favorites but we were never going to give anything away. Coming out of a very difficult situation, we were very confident… no matter how much small details can change a match. This squad was clear about it, despite the fact that we started with defeat.”