After lifting the 2022 World Cup trophy, Argentine footballer and captain for the Argentina national team, Lionel Messi, has disclosed that he will continue playing for the national team for a while.
Lionel Messi rejected speculations that this was going to be his last match for the national team and pledged to continue playing for his country, despite achieving his lifetime ambition of winning the sport’s biggest prize.
Messi had previously disclosed that the final would be his final ever World Cup game for Argentina and he certainly bowed out in style. However, it seems Argentina fans will get to enjoy the 35-year-old legend for a while as he’s not ready to hang up his international boots just yet.
The Captain, won the Golden Ball award which is given to the best player of the tournament, after scoring seven goals for his country to help them become world champions for the first time since 1986, and the third time overall.
“I’m not retiring from the national team. I want to continue playing as a champion. It’s crazy that it happened this way. I wanted it very much.”Lionel Messi
Messi was under pressure to deliver his country’s World Cup for the first time since the Diego Maradona-inspired side of 1986, and this was his last chance in his fifth appearance at the tournament.
The World Cup winner is due to return to club side Paris Saint-Germain after the tournament, with the Ligue 1 champions set to resume their campaign against Strasbourg on December 28.
France Fans Hail Mbappe For Tremendous Performance
Though his team lost the World Cup final, France’s Kylian Mbappe won the FIFA Golden Boot trophy, after scoring the most goals in the tournament.
The player grabbed two assists and scored a total of eight goals, including three against Argentina on Sunday December 18, in an elating final at Lusail Stadium.
Mbappe’s total of eight goals in Qatar is the joint highest at a single World Cup since Gerd Muller scored 10 times in 1970 (also Ronaldo, eight in 2002), but that will come as little consolation to the player following France’s painful defeat.
Having netted in 2018’s win against Croatia, Mbappe is now the highest-scoring player in World Cup final history with four, while his overall tally of 12 goals at the tournament puts him level with three-time champion Pele.
“Mbappe is the future, There is no player at his age who is even close to how good he is. He is unbelievable,” Malcolm Joseph noted.
Mbappé became the first men’s player to score a hat trick in a World Cup final since England’s Geoff Hurst in 1966. The good thing for France, however, is that Mbappé has many more World Cups ahead of him. This was only his second. His disappointment in Qatar will surely fuel him, at least through 2026.