Lionel Messi celebrates after Argentina beat Australia to reach the World Cup quarter-finals


  • Lionel Messi powered Argentina to a 3-0 victory over Croatia
  • Winning the World Cup trophy will be his ultimate crowning glory as a player
  • Argentina will be facing the winner of France and Morocco

The 2022 World Cup has had its twists and turns thanks to the unpredictable nature that is the sport of soccer, and now, Lionel Messi is one win away from achieving what many thought was impossible: a World Cup title win on his resume.

Counting them out of the tournament is understandable to some degree after being on the receiving end of a shock loss from Saudi Arabia in the group stages.

However, this team proved that they can conquer the odds and now find themselves in the finals of the World Cup after taking down the formidable Croatia, 3-0, in the semifinals.

Speaking with the media following their win, Messi wore his heart on his sleeve as he is closer than ever to realizing an achievement that has long eluded him.

"This is what we've been doing in every match. The previous match was a big sacrifice and we went into extra time. That wasn't easy. Today we were tired but we pulled our strengths to earn this victory. We played very well. We knew that we would play this way," Messi said as quoted by PA Media.

"Personally, I can say that I feel very happy in this whole World Cup. I am enjoying it a lot and luckily enough I am able to help my whole squad to make things happen."

For Messi, his fifth World Cup appearance is a momentous one as he will be appearing in his second-ever final with his last attempt in 2014 ending in disappointment as they fell victim to a German side that saw Mario Gotze score the match-winner at the 113th minute.

The 35-year-old from Rosario, Santa Fe, Argentina has won everything imaginable from Ballon d'Ors (seven times), the FIFA World Cup Golden Ball (2014), and the La Liga Best Player (six times) along with a multitude of club titles–mainly with FC Barcelona.

Taking home the World Cup trophy to Argentina for the first time since 1986 would be the ultimate feather in his cap and, in the eyes of many, will give him the ultimate edge over longtime rival and Portugal's talisman Cristiano Ronaldo.

Messi noted later in the interview that their loss to Saudi Arabia was a true test of their resolve, and it culminated in them pulling off a statement victory against a very game and energetic Croatia side.

The current Paris Saint-Germain striker opened up the scoring for Argentina ar the 34th minute after tucking home his penalty attempt right into the bottom right corner, while Julian Alvarez joined him with two goals of his own at the 39th and 69th minutes respectively.

Seen by oddsmakers as plus-150 favorites to win the World Cup entering the semis, hope is very much alive for them as Messi and Argentina await who they will face in the finals–either France or Morocco.

Argentina's Lionel Messi has never won the World Cup