Doha (VG) (Argentina-France 3–3 eeo, 4–2 on penalties) It was the final that should not have been played. Then it became the biggest ever.
Qatar was not supposed to win this tournament, but it ended up escaping with Messi’s coronation and the most dramatic final the World Cup has ever seen.
Then the prince and FIFA president puts a diagonal robe on the superstar soccer player before receiving the World Cup. An already silly tournament comes to an end and sport comes to its perfect end when Messi comes dancing towards his teammates in new clothes.
But Argentina doesn’t care, and neither does the majority of the football world. Lionel Messi is carried on a golden chair, with the World Cup above his head, as in the classic photos of Diego Maradona in 1986.
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Three decades ago, doctors said he would never exceed 1.40 metres. Now Lionel Messi is the greatest.
He flew in at 13, got his growth hormones and became a Barcelona giant, not an Argentinian giant. He has always defended his country, except for a little intermission, but he hasn’t won much. In his 172nd match – his 26th and final at the World Cup – he won everything Argentina needed. Now he is immortal, like Maradona.
Forgotten Ruins (2006), Discouragement (2010), Ultimate Boom (2014) and Fadisi (2018). The 2022 World Cup has been his whole life, and he seems to have written somewhere that he will get his gold.
He even took gold on one of football’s most beautiful nights. At the press stand, many journalists stood up and applauded when the extra periods ended. They almost looked exhausted.
Forget the “Miracle of Berne” in 1954, Wembley and the missed extra-time goal in 1966, the late equalizer and the extra-time victory of Argentina in 1978, 2-0 that became 2-2 and 3-2 for Maradona in 1986. Or Zidane’s skull and the two finals that ended a penalty kick decision.
The history of the World Cup has never seen a bigger final story than at Lusail Stadium in 2022. This one had it all, including insane crowd pressure and a titanic duel between the person who was the best and the person who will be.
At first it was a penalty kick for Messi for the fourth time in the World Cup, then Messi offside opened the defense and Di Maria made it 2-0. According to plan, the World Cup film about Messi had a happy ending.
France was overrun and defeated. The team has been a machine that took the lead and managed wins from there. Now they came and understood nothing. France wanted to win, and Argentina desperately needed to win.
Messi and his warriors dominated, until they weren’t in control at all. Suddenly Argentina could not cope with the speed of young France, in 95 seconds Kylian Mbappe hit a penalty kick and a fatal shot.
It was almost like the 1986 final for Argentina against West Germany: a secure 2-0 to 2-2 lead in a few minutes towards the end of the match. A great pass by Maradona was decided upon shortly after.
This time there was French pace, Argentine panic, chaos, extra time and chances all around.
Then Lionel Messi appeared again, on the return, with his right leg, and it was much better than winning the game in overtime, and it could not be over.
But Kylian Mbappé’s right leg did not finish either: first, a shot that resulted in a handball and strikes in the same corner as the previous penalty: 3-3.
From there, it was the final for Argentina goalkeeper Aimee Martinez, and a last-minute brace saved Messi’s legacy and will be talked about for years.
Then he put in another penalty display, like against the Netherlands, and did what his captain had promised the day before the match. Martinez traveled as a fan to see Messi at the World Cup in Russia four years ago. Now he wanted to win for Messi. He kept his word.
Martinez frightened Kingsley Coman and Aurelien Tchoamene, the stadium shook, as it did for hours, and Messi backed away before singing along to the song about himself and Diego.
The Argentines had traveled half the globe, almost dominated the entire World Cup, and were almost kicked off the field again after two hours of celebrating with the players and their families.
From his homeland, it is reported that Pope Francis, from Buenos Aires, asked that it be celebrated with respect and care. There is reason to doubt that this prayer was heard.
In Lusail, they sing about Messi, Maradona, Maradona’s father and mother, and the martyrs Las Malvinas. The Falkland War of 1982 is always with them. 649 Argentines lost their lives, it is still referred to as ‘Argentine obsession’ and through football they get an outlet for a great deal of this obsession.
Four years after the Falklands War, Diego Maradona won the World Cup gold in soccer, and 40 years later Lionel Messi did the same.
Las Malvinas They’ll keep singing the new WC gold they’ll keep looking for. But now it’s getting worse. Now they have to run things without gods.
First, they return home in economic disarray.
They were seldom happier.
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