Leo Messi has been influential in Argentina’s run to the finals in Qatar, where La Albiceleste will face France on Sunday. Visit our sportsbook to get the best World Cup markets and bonuses.
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Road to the Final
Argentina kicked off their World Cup campaign with a disappointing 2-1 defeat to the second-lowest ranked team in the tournament, Saudi Arabia, before bouncing back to beat other group rivals Mexico and Poland 2-0 and emerging out of the group on top.
A 2-1 success over Australia in the round of 16 led to a quarter-final clash against familiar foes, the Netherlands. The highly anticipated meeting saw Argentina survive a penalty shootout against the Oranje to line up Croatia in the semi-final.
The two-time World Cup winners secured their place in the tournament’s title decider after they defeated last year’s runner-up Croatia 3-0 in the first semi-final on Tuesday.
Messi’s Last World Cup
Leo Messi has the farewell he wished for: On Sunday, the football superstar, a well-known failure at the international level, will play his sixth and last major final with Argentina. It will be his 26th World Cup game, more than anyone else ever, gathering another record.
In Qatar, he has five goals and three assists. The stellar moments here are his. The goal against Mexico, the goal against Australia, and the out-of-this-world assist against Croatia, all of them so very Messi were moments of World Cup magic.
Messi leads the tournament stats in goals, assists, chances created, dribbles, and fouls suffered. This still hasn’t stopped him. He has played every minute. He has been stellar, but we already know what he can do with the ball. There’s also the energy, the expression of commitment, the determination, and finally, the sacrifice.
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Why Argentina Will Win: Attacking Firepower
So much of the talk about Argentina at the World Cup has been about Lionel Messi finally getting his hands on the trophy. Argentina had the worst possible start, losing 2-1 to Saudi Arabia in their opening game, but things have improved since with five wins over Mexico, Poland, Australia, the Netherlands, and finally Croatia, scoring at least two goals in each one.
While Messi has grabbed the headlines with his five goals and three assists, including the spectacular opener in Argentina’s 2-1 win over Australia in the round of 16, a lot of credit should go to Julian Alvarez. He is the player who came into the team when Argentina was struggling and helped their attack, including Messi.
Lionel Messi has admitted that he is surprised by the impact teammate and Manchester City striker Julian Alvarez has had on Argentina’s run to the World Cup final in Qatar. He scored a brace in Tuesday night’s 3-0 semifinal victory over Croatia to fire Argentina to their second World Cup final in the last three tournaments. Argentina has had more shots, more possession, and scored more goals since Alvarez came into the side. Crucially for Argentina, Messi is playing better with Alvarez in the team. The Manchester City player’s energetic running in wide areas creates space for Messi in the middle of the pitch.
His brace took his tally of goals in Qatar to four, meaning he will head into Sunday’s final against current holders France just one goal shy of leading Golden Boot contenders Kylian Mbappe and Messi, both of whom are currently on five each. Argentina has improved with every game and looks solid all over the pitch. Even their goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez is the second favorite to win the Golden Glove award in Qatar.
All the neutral fans will be rooting for Argentina and Messi, and the atmosphere in the stand will be electric. It’s written in the stars for Messi to lift the World Cup trophy and end his international career in style.