It is widely held by soccer fans throughout the world that Lionel Messi is the best player they have ever seen. Over the last decade, the Argentinean’s abilities as a dribbler, passer, and goal scorer have impressed spectators. Messi seems to have collected every club honor there is. However, he and his great rival, Cristiano Ronaldo, have garnered fewer accolades. Both have received recognition on the international level in recent years. Messi’s World Cup track record demands close inspection.
Lionel Messi first came to the attention of football fans across the world in Argentina’s second group stage game against Serbia and Montenegro when he was just 18 years old. In the 74th minute, he came in as a sub and promptly contributed to the fourth goal.
Since Argentina had already qualified for the round of 16, they rested players and handed him his first World Cup start in the 0-0 tie with the Netherlands. Manager José Pékerman used Messi as a super sub in the 84th minute of the Round of 16 match against Mexico.
Despite having a goal by the young winger controversially disallowed, Argentina ultimately triumphed after extra time. The World Cup ended for Messi as Argentina was eliminated by Germany in the quarterfinals on penalties. Pékerman was attacked for the move, but the Argentinians were encouraged about the future of their star striker.
In order to surpass all expectations and become the best player in the history of the team. Over the last decade, the Argentine’s ability as a dribbler, passer, and goal scorer has never ceased to surprise. As a club player, Lionel Messi has won almost every honor there is to win. However, he and his great rival Cristiano Ronaldo have garnered fewer accolades and recognitions on the international level in recent years.
In a nutshell, Argentina had a rough trip to South Africa. Messi scored only four goals in 18 qualifying games while playing in a deep midfield position. A 4-0 defeat to Germany in the World Cup quarterfinals was the end for Argentina.
The Germans sliced apart an already fragile Argentine defense, and Messi, who many fans anticipated would be the game-winner four years ago against the same opponent, did not have a good game. Despite being regarded as one of FIFA’s best players, the Argentine was mocked back home for being unable to lead his club to glory as Maradona had in 1986.
Argentina’s Route Messi entered the 2014 World Cup with the goal of leading Argentina to victory with the captain’s armband on his shoulders. Again, Argentina breezed through the group stage, and their new captain deserves a lot of the credit. From 23 yards out, he scored the game-winning goal in a 1-0 win over Iran and the game-tying goal in a 2-1 win against Bosnia and Herzegovina.
He continued to play well in the knockout round, scoring a penalty kick goal in Argentina’s 1-0 win against Switzerland in extra time and assisting on another in their 1-0 win over the Netherlands. Argentina and Germany have met in the finals of three consecutive tournaments.
The matchup this time around was billed as a showdown between the world’s best individual and the tournament’s best team. Even though Germany played fantastic defense, the game was ultimately characterized by Argentina’s inability to capitalize on its many scoring chances.
Mario Gotze, who came off the bench, scored the game-winning goal for Germany in the 113th minute of extra time. Though he ultimately placed second, Messi was honored as the tournament’s most valuable player and awarded the Golden Ball. The press back home was not happy to see that he had returned home empty-handed. Getting to South Africa wasn’t easy. Messi scored only four goals in 18 qualifying games while playing in a deep midfield position.
The 2018 World Cup would have been the first time in Argentina’s history that they were eliminated in the group stage if Marcos Rojo hadn’t scored the game-winning goal in injury time against Nigeria. Keep in mind that that was his first goal of the competition. Even though he led Argentina to an early lead and then the beginnings of a comeback, his 2018 season ended in the Round of 16 against France. Kylian Mbappé scored twice to lead France to a 4-3 victory despite his best efforts. The loss was especially devastating for the neutral fans who had wanted to see Messi face off against Ronaldo in the semifinals.
However, in 2022, when odds were at the lowest and the belief system was crashing, the little boy, Lionel Messi, from Rosario out mastered every nation at the world stage to receive the greatest reward of the game. He lifted the world cup in Doha. Some say, the world owed him this and now he had completed the football after winning this. The little boy from Rosario finished his stellar career with a perfect end. It was a story written in heaven, indeed.
Muhammad Saad is a Freelance Article, Blog, and Copywriter. He provides his services on Fiverr under the username @saadiqbal599.