FIFA World Cup 2022: Messi’s eyes on the prize! Will he script history? | The Financial Express

FIFA World Cup 2022: Messi’s eyes on the prize! Will he script history?

Messi could join the bandwagon of footballing greats when he kick-starts his fifth World Cup match on Tuesday. He is at close distance to surpass Ronaldo’s goal-tally.

FIFA World Cup 2022: Messi’s eyes on the prize! Will he script history?
Lionel Messi, seven-time Ballon d'Or winner, has never won the World Cup while he and his team delivered their best when Argentina lost the 2014 final. (Image: Reuters)

Football fanatics all over the world are rooting for Argentina as this could probably be Lionel Messi’s last chance to bring World Cup glory home. The iconic player is ready for the FIFA World Cup 2022 opener against Saudi Arabia later on Tuesday.  

Crowned as one of the greatest players in the football universe, Argentina captain Messi will today catch all attention when he takes on Saudi Arabia at the Lusail Stadium. 

This will be the fifth World Cup, likely to be the final one, for Messi who had surfaced on football’s biggest arena for the first time during the 2006 tournament in Germany. He joins Portugal forward Cristiano Ronaldo, and Mexico teammates Guillermo Ochoa and Andrés Guardado. It is all probable that Messi will be eying for scripting history with Argentina.

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And again he said that this was “likely” going to be his last World Cup, even if that element of doubt might excite the more optimistic of Argentina fans thinking ahead to the 2026 tournament in the United States, Canada and Mexico.

Messi, seven-time Ballon d’Or winner, has never won the World Cup while he and his team delivered their best when Argentina lost the 2014 final. According to an AP report, Messi wants to achieve his great dream this time as FIFA 2022 could be his last World Cup. 

Messi could join the bandwagon of footballing greats when he kick-starts his fifth World Cup match on Tuesday. He is at close distance to surpass Ronaldo’s goal-tally. He has scored 6 goals for Argentina while Ronaldo has netted 7 for Portugal at the World Cup.

Messi feels very well in this World Cup. “Maybe a bit more mature, always trying to give my best and enjoy everything, and live this World Cup with intensity and enjoy every moment,” AP quoted Messi as saying.

Messi has been the most active player in the history of FIFA World Cup, who has played 19 games, leaving behind his arch-rival Ronaldo at 17 matches. Legendary Germany midfielder Lothar Matthaus registered the highest record of playing 25 matches.

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Messi could break Late Diego Maradona’s long-standing record in the group stage of the FIFA World Cup 2022. The Argentina team under his stewardship will meet Poland in its final Group C fixture of the World Cup on December 1. Legendary footballer Maradona played 21 matches at the FIFA World Cup.

Messi bagged the Golden Ball award in the 2014 FIFA World Cup while Germany defeated Messi’s Argentina in the 2014 FIFA World Cup final. Messi’s rival Luka Modric was honoured with the Golden Ball award in the previous edition of the World Cup. Both Messi and Modric have a great chance to get the famous trophy at the FIFA World Cup 2022 as no one has ever bagged the Golden Ball twice in the FIFA World Cup history.

Messi could grab a great opportunity to break the sensational feat of Gabriel Batistuta for Argentina at the FIFA World Cup. With 10 goals to his name, Batistuta has recorded his name as the leading goalscorer for Argentina at the World Cup. Messi previously scored six goals for Argentina at the FIFA World Cup.

Lionel Messi is considered one of the most talented soccer players. He spent two decades playing for Barcelona until his association with Paris Saint-Germain last year. Messi was named Forbes’s number-one highest-paid athlete in 2019 and 2022.

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First published on: 22-11-2022 at 15:55 IST