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Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Lionel Messi’s legacy is forever after winning Argentina’s ‘Cup Of Joy’

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Lionel Messi was the star of the show, scoring seven goals in the competition, including two in the nail-biting final against France.

In a sport that creates superstars every year, what does it take to be remembered as one of the all-time greats? The answer could be both simple and complex. It could be easy to become popular in the world’s most popular sport in today’s day and age, when every move and tackle made, every pass completed, and every goal scored reaches the phones of millions of football fans in seconds. Football is a love for millions of people all around the world, and players are both adored and despised for their weekly performances in club football. However, it is their performance for the national team, particularly in the FIFA World Cup, that earns them a place in the Hall of Fame.

From Alfredo de Stefano to Johan Cryuff, Ferenc Puskas to Lev Yashin, Zico to Michel Platini, there have been countless stars who have generated brilliance on the greens over the years. But when it comes to the greatest of all time, they are all overshadowed by two names: Brazil’s Pele and Argentina’s Diego Maradona. Apart from the excellent abilities and achievements that the two could boast of, leading their respective countries to the World Cup title assured that their names were engraved in gold letters in the annals of footballing history.

On December 18, 2022, another name was added to that exclusive and illustrious list. Lionel Messi. Not that his silky dribbling abilities and countless goals at club and international levels weren’t enough to make him a legend, but winning the World Cup was the icing on the cake.

Messi and his great adversary Cristiano Ronaldo have delighted football fans for over two decades, and anytime the ‘GOAT’ discussion was raised for either, the main point of dispute was the lack of a worldwide trophy.

Ronaldo led Portugal to the 2016 Euro, and Messi led Argentina to the Copa America in 2021, but both were continental triumphs.

The need of the hour in Qatar for these two greats, who may never be seen on the World Cup stage again, was to win the major trophy, and it was eventually an inspired Argentinian team who delivered for Messi.

The magician himself was in the forefront, scoring seven times throughout the competition, including two goals in the nail-biting final against defending champions France.

He broke multiple records on his way to winning the trophy that Argentina has wanted for 36 years since the legendary El Diego did it for them. Messi is now Argentina’s “Messi-ah,” having finally replicated his idol.

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