Record-breaking Messi leads Argentina to World Cup final

Lionel Messi became Argentina's top World Cup scorer of all time as he steered the team to their second World Cup final in eight years following a comprehensive 3-0 win over Croatia in the semi-final on Tuesday.

Ahram Online , AP , Tuesday 13 Dec 2022,
Lionel Messi

Messi opened the scoring from a 34th-minute penalty and set up Julian Alvarez for a third after the break following a brilliant individual effort.

He took his tally to 11 World Cup goals for Argentina, overtaking the team's former striker Gabriel Batistuta, who scored 10. 

Messi is back in the World Cup final with Argentina on his mission to win soccer’s biggest prize for the first time. And, at 35, he could hardly be playing any better.

Messi converted a penalty and had a hand in the other two goals by Julian Alvarez, leading Argentina to a win over Croatia on Tuesday that set up a meeting with either France or Morocco in Sunday's title match.

It will be Messi's second World Cup final — Argentina lost the other one to Germany in 2014 — in what might be his last appearance at the tournament.

It could yet be the perfect way to go out for a player widely regarded as one of the game's best players, if not the best.

Messi is thrilling his legion of fans along the way, with his swivel and driving run to set up the third goal for Alvarez in the 69th minute epitomizing his confidence and swagger.

He is embracing the responsibility of leading Argentina to its third World Cup title, scoring in five of his six games in Qatar.

Check the 2022 World Cup matches and statistics.

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