When asked if the final on Sunday would be his last World Cup game, Lionel Messi replied: “Surely it is. There’s a lot of years ahead for the next one and I don’t think I’ll make it. And to finish it this way is the is the best”.
At 35, the only trophy missing in Leo’s collection is a World Cup gold medal. He’s come close—since making his international debut in 2005, he reached the final in the 2014, with Argentina losing to Germany in extra time.
The Argentine also led Albiceleste to the quarterfinals twice (2006, 2010) and most recently the round of 16 (2018).
He, however, did lead Argentina to the Copa America title in 2021. But unlike Diego Maradona, who tasted World Cup glory in 1986, he hasn’t been able to get his country over the hump just yet.
On Sunday, December 18, Messi will play his last game at the tournament against either France or Morocco.