• Argentina defeated France on penalties in the 2022 final
  • Lionel Messi finished the WC with 7 goals and 3 assists
  • Messi scored twice in the final on Sunday

Tennis greats Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal have paid their tributes to newly-crowned World Champion Lionel Messi.

Messi captained Argentina to victory in the 2022 World Cup final against the reigning champions France on penalties. The Argentinian skipper scored the first goal in the game, from the spot, before playing a part in Angel di Maria's strike that doubled their lead.

After France's Kylian Mbappe netted two late goals in the second half, Messi put Argentina at the top once again by scoring in the second half of the extra-time. However, France received a late penalty, following a handball foul by an Argentina player. Messi's Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) teammate Mbappe made no error and converted it, forcing the game to go into the shoot-out.

Playing in his fifth World Cup, and possibly his last one, Messi emerged as a world champion, finally. He came close to fulfilling his dream of winning the World Cup with Argentina in 2014, but his side ended up losing 1-0 to Germany in the final.

"Fairytale stuff Argentina! Time and time again you Lionel Messi have redefined greatness. It's a privilege to watch you. Congrats Leo and Argentina. Special and historic," Federer wrote in an Instagram post.

Nadal, on the other hand, posted on Instagram Stories congratulating both the Argentines and French on the classic finale. "Enjoy it champions," he noted in one of his posts.

The 22-time Grand Slam winner recently toured Argentina for exhibition matches, along with Norway's Caper Ruud. The latter posted a picture with Nadal, in which both the players were holding Argentina's soccer jerseys with their names written on them. "Congratulations, Argentina," Ruud wrote in a social media post.

Messi finished the 2022 World Cup with seven goals and three assists. He also became the first-ever player in World Cup history to score in the group stage, last 16, quarter-final, semi-final and final of a single tournament.

Lionel Messi, Argentina, World Cup
Lionel Messi finally grabbed the accolade that has long eluded him: a FIFA World Cup Trophy. Seleccion Argentina/Twitter

While Messi earlier said that the final would be his final appearance in a World Cup, Argentina head coach Lionel Scaloni is hoping to have his No. 10 when they begin their World Cup defense in the 2026 edition, which will be played in the U.S., Mexico and Canada.