The world witnessed history last night as Lionel Messi conquered his final frontier in the game of football, winning the elusive FIFA World Cup trophy, by leading Argentina to a penalty shootout triumph over France in the finals at the Lusail Stadium in Qatar.
It took five attempts for Messi to get across the final hurdle and complete football as such, as he brought home the World Cup title to Argentina 36 years after a certain Diego Maradona had done.
In light of the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner’s triumph in Qatar, tributes have been flowing in from all quarters. Former teammates, rivals, legends of football, superstars from other sports, and leading personalities from various fields across the world have been congratulating Messi on his accomplishments.
Pele, regarded as one of the greatest ever to grace the game of footballer, wrote a beautiful tribute on his Instagram.
“Today, football continues to tell its story, as always, in an enthralling way. Messi winning his first World Cup, as his trajectory deserved. My dear friend, Mbappé, scoring four goals in a final.
What a gift it was to watch this spectacle to the future of our sport. And I couldn’t fail to congratulate Morocco for the incredible campaign. It’s great to see Africa shine. Congratulations Argentina! Certainly Diego is smiling now.”
Ronaldo Nazario, a World Cup winner himself in 2002, took to Twitter to hail Messi, stating that the what 35-year-old does on the pitch transcends rivalries as intense as the one between Brazil and Argentina. He wrote:
“The kind of football Messi plays throws any rivalry into the corner. I saw many Brazilians and people from all over the world supporting Messi in the final. A worthy farewell to this genius, who captained an era. Congratulations, Messi