Time running out for Messi but are World Cup stars aligning?
The great Lionel Messi of Argentina should never win the World Cup, according to Spain coach Luis Enrique, who claimed this earlier this week because it would be “unfair.”
However, the seven-time Ballon d’Or victor is out of time and options.
The Qatar spectacle will likely mark one of the two finest players of their generation—who many consider to be the two greatest footballers of all time—alongside Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo’s fifth and last World Cup appearance.
Pele of Brazil and Diego Maradona of Argentina were the former front-runners for the title of greatest player of all time, but neither will ever win football’s top honor.
However, in the case of Messi, this might be his finest opportunity to date to claim that elusive trophy.
After Argentina lost the 2014 World Cup final 1-0 to Germany in Brazil, he struck a pitiful figure. In 2016, he briefly announced his retirement from international competition.
By winning the Copa America final against hosts Brazil by the same score and at the same Maracana stadium where they had struggled seven years before, he changed his mind and led Argentina to their first major championship in 28 years.
He is legendary.
Argentina is one of the apparent favorites going into this tournament after a 36-match unbeaten streak.
On paper, at least, their group doesn’t seem to be the most demanding.
On Tuesday, they face off against Saudi Arabia, then battle it out with Mexico and Poland.
“Argentina is one of the global favorites,”
They haven’t lost in about 30 games; therefore, everyone should be very wary of them.
Lewandowski has had the opportunity this season to witness firsthand the legacy that Messi has left behind in Catalonia as the new darling of the Camp Nou in Barcelona.
“He is a legend in Barcelona. Being in the club, you see it everywhere,” the Pole added.
He is the captain and best player for Argentina. We are aware of our opponents, and it will be a tough challenge.
Lewandowski, along with the underdog but self-assured Saudis, will probably be among the last athletes to compete in a World Cup match against Messi.
Abdulellah Al-Malki, a midfielder, thinks he won’t be intimidated by the event.
It’s a dream for me because he’s a legend.
The late Maradona, Messi’s predecessor as Argentina’s national hero, ensured his footballing immortality by leading his nation to its second world championship in 1986.
Messi has already won four Champions League championships and ten La Liga championships, but he would dearly love to add World Cup victory to his resume.
He is not alone either.
“I hope Argentina wins the World Cup because of Messi if Spain doesn’t,”
Enrique, Messi’s three-year Barcelona coach, remarked earlier this week on Twitch.
It would be unfair for Messi to leave the game without a World Cup trophy.
Argentina appears to have a better balance in the squad than other nations, despite the recent retirements of attacking stars like Sergio Aguero and Gonzalo Higuain.
Along with Messi, other seasoned players Angel Di Maria and Lautaro Martinez offer attack drive and deception.
A hardworking midfield led by Rodrigo De Paul, Leandro Paredes, and Alexis MacAlister is joined by aggressive defenders in the mold of Cristian Romero and Lisandro Martinez, with Emiliano Martinez’s sure hands protecting the goal.
For Messi, it truly is now or never, but there is a growing sentiment in Argentina that this will be the international farewell both a country and an icon have long hoped for.