Lionel Messi and goalie Martinez win FIFA World Cup for Argentina in shootout

Lionel Messi and goalie Martinez win FIFA World Cup for Argentina in shootout

Lionel Messi and Argentina win the World Cup

Lionel Messi and Argentina exorcised the ghosts of the past as they defeated France in one of the most heart-stopping finals via penalties ever witnessed in a FIFA World Cup final to lift the trophy at the Lusail Stadium in Qatar. The “Do it for Messi” and invoking the spirit of Diego Maradona on Sunday worked wonders in a match where Kylian Mbappe was left crying after scoring a blistering hat-trick.

Argentina broke for a 2-0 lead, and then began a series of goals being scored like rockets by Kylian Mbappe. He fired back two. Then it was the run of Messi to put Argentina ahead, in extra time. Mbappe then showed he was not going to give up. The 24-year-old wonder boy slammed a hat trick, which was simply out of the world.

After 90 minutes of regulation time and extra time, the heart-stopping shootout ensued. This is where Argentina showed better nerves and goalkeeper Emi Martinez produced the heroic effort which ensured Argentina’s wait for a trophy would end. From 1986 till 2022, the wait has been painful.

It was a contest between two players wearing the No.10 jerseys, Messi and Mbappe. Messi is 35 and Mbappe is 11 years younger. Messi is like mature wine, playing his last international match. Mbappe was the raging bull, with speed, aura, and footwork which was captivating.

Both sides had fans praying, and crying, which included Messi’s wife and French President Emmanuel Macron. The world is celebrating Messi’s victory but history should remember this as a win for Argentina, the men in white and blue, where goalie Martinez showed skills and nerves. Penalty shootouts are like being on a ventilator. You do not know what is happening, despite doctors putting in their best efforts.

In the end, when Argentina won, it was a team effort, and the role of Martinez will always be remembered. Indeed, for the entire first half, France was outplayed. Manager Didier Deschamps looked frustrated. One man was responding repeatedly as if he alone was going to take the lead role. His name is Kylian Mbappe, a young man who is setting one record after another. He has already won a World Cup, so the loss today will hurt him.

Related: “Great Goal by the GOAT”- Elon Musk and others react as Lionel Messi creates history at 2022 FIFA World Cup Final against France

Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappe were the stars in the final

Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi

Emotions ran high. Hearts and hormones were with Argentina, for they had been dying to win this trophy. Messi had become the butt of ridicule. Today, he wiped out all the question marks. He scored, he soared and he ensured his last dance will be remembered forever. At 35, he is taking so much pressure, it’s just his passion and positivity which has kept him going.

It may be tempting to compare the two superstars, Messi and Mbappe. That would be foolish. One is aging, almost ready to pack up and play just club football. Expectations from Mbappe are sky-high. He has pace and the skills but he cannot keep going like this. It’s very hard. Messi lasted five World Cups, which is a big slice of history. One can judge Mbappe only in the long run, not just by stats or goals scored.

Goals are important, and assists are important. A goalkeeper performing in the shootout is like a surgeon saving a patient in an emergency. It can work or fail. Tonight, Martinez saved Argentina and France let down Mbappe. How can a team with 10 players fail when one man is on fire? Knives will be out for the Frenchmen, who had erred by talking of flu a day ago. There was no flu, there seemed fear in minds of the French players, Mbappe being an exception.

At the other end, Messi, Di Maria, and the gang were sweating like crazy, running all over. They received jolts and bolts from Mbappe’s boots. To withstand that pressure and peak in the penalties defined greatness. Does the GOAT (Greatest Of All Time) debate restart? Forget it, Messi has won a World Cup. The debate is over. Blue and White is the color that soared in Qatar in the grand finale.

France had one hero and many villains. Sadly, the hero, Mbappe scored a hat-trick and was still left in tears. That’s a sport, you have to digest it when the other 10 cock up. There will be a lot of explaining to do for the Frenchmen. Excuses will not work.

Also Read: Karim Benzema’s exclusion from France’s 2022 FIFA World Cup Final squad list ‘intentional,’ claims renowned Qatari journalist

The world is celebrating, not just Argentina. The rise of this Latin American country in football is what billions wanted. Rising like a phoenix? The world saw that on Sunday. Celebrations are on from the deserts of Qatar to Buenos Aires, which is a crazy flight, almost 19 hours!

Also Read: Who is Lionel Messi’s wife Antonella Roccuzzo? All you need to know about the couple’s dating history