Lionel Andrés Messi, better known as Lionel Messi, is a paid Argentine footballer. He has served as a striker for PSG and captain of the Argentina National Team for a long time. The soccer star is a step closer to realizing his dream of winning the FIFA World Cup after leading the team to qualifying again. In the live broadcast of the World Cup in Qatar 2022, the 34-year-old star will lead his nation for the last time by winning a major soccer trophy.
In the meantime, let’s take a look back at Messi’s previous appearances at the World Cup.
2006 World Cup – Germany.
At the age of 18, Messi made his first World Cup match. His first match was Argentina’s second group stage match against Serbia and Montenegro. In the 74th minute, he scored the fourth goal and scored the sixth. In his first World Cup match Argentina drew 0-0 with the Netherlands. Winning in the playoffs, Argentina rested the beginners in the game.
In the 16th round, Messi was released in the 84th minute. He scored a disallowed goal that forced him to add time. Argentina won the match with the help of that extra time. Unfortunately the team lost to Germany in the quarterfinals. Fans and experts later criticized the coach for putting Messi on the bench for the entire game.
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2010 World Cup – in South Africa.
In 2010, Argentina was not in a good position for the entire qualifying round. As a result of being placed in the middle of the pitch, Messi scored only 18 goals. Just before the tournament, manager Diego Maradona and the Barcelona star had a meeting about reviving the team structure.
With Messi back to his regular role, Argentina have finished the group stage with a breeze. However, their World Cup match ended in German hands again. The Germans violated Argentina’s weak defense, leading to Argentina’s 4-0 loss. Messi has been widely criticized for not being able to lead a successful team like Diego Maradona.
World Cup 2014 – Brazil.
Messi has been named Argentina captain for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. With his skill, Messi led the team in the group stage. He has scored four goals in the group stage including the best free-kicks against Nigeria.
Messi’s outstanding leadership, including the efforts of other team members, led the team to the finals for the first time since its inception. But misfortune did not leave him, as they would face the Germans in the final. The Argentines gave their best throughout the game in both offense and defense. Sadly, over time Mario Gotze scored Germany’s victory in the tournament. Messi left that year’s World Cup with a Golden Ball medal.
Retirement and Rehabilitation.
After losing in the 2014 World Cup by just one goal, Messi led Argentina twice to the Copa America finals in 2015 and 2016. The team lost twice in the final to Chile. After suffering three consecutive defeats, Messi has announced he is no longer playing worldwide. But his fans around the world are experiencing the trend of NoTeVayasLeo (Leo, don’t go). The global social media campaign and exhibition of 50,000 people was a success. With Messi back to lead the national team at the 2018 World Cup again.
2018 World Cup – Russia.
The Argentine qualifying team tour was a disaster for the event. Even after his return, Messi played a minor role in the team category. Fortunately, against Nigeria, Marcos Rojo’s goal in the recent game secured their place in the next round.
However, his return to the upcoming games was not enough for the team again. In the semi-finals, Argentina faced France. France won the match 4-3 with Kylian Mbappe scoring twice. Although Messi assisted on two of the three goals scored by his team. This loss was especially painful for football fans as they missed Messi vs Ronaldo’s quarterfinal.
2022 World Cup – Qatar.
Messi will be 35 years old joining the 5th FIFA World Cup. He recently led Argentina to the 2021 Copa America. Their current national team is also considered the best since the early 2000s. Every fan of the team around the world will be looking forward to his performance in this game. As Messi’s fans also earnestly pray for him to win his first World Cup final in this repetition.