Updated: Sep 26
by Joseph Castiglione
If you have ever watched or even heard about soccer before, chances are that you have heard of Lionel Messi before. Messi has been in the GOAT (Greatest of All Time) conversation for a very long time now. Although nobody can agree on who the GOAT is, it is clear that Messi and Ronaldo are maybe the two players that are most likely in the conversation. This is probably the last World Cup for the both of them as age has caught up to them and the World Cup only comes around every four years. With the World Cup coming to an end with Argentina facing the defending champion, France, the question is: can Messi finally attain the only trophy that he is missing and cement himself as the GOAT?
Messi and Ronaldo have been the face of the game for quite some time now. From their starts at Barcelona for Messi and Manchester United for Ronaldo, they took the world by storm. They were both so great all the time and they consistently pushed each other to be better just because of how they played. Year after year it was Messi versus Ronaldo for the Ballon D'or, an annual football award given to the best footballer in the world and voted by a hundred journalists from FIFA's top 100 nations. On a yearly basis, this trophy would decide who had the better year. They both have insane trophy rooms but one trophy eludes both of them: the World Cup trophy.
Many people thought that Messi and Argentina would flop this year after their first game loss to Saudi Arabia in the group stage. However, the team was able to turn it around with a 2-0 win against Mexico and another 2-0 win against Poland. Messi and the entire team stepped up and have not lost a game since. Messi is leading the team in goals as he has 5 along with 3 assists. The road to the championship has not been easy for Messi but he said he wouldn't want it any other way after knocking off the Netherlands to send Argentina against France.
Ronaldo and Portugal were shockingly eliminated by Morocco in the round of eight. Additionally, the coach of Portugal, Fernando Santos, clashed with Ronaldo this year, and brought him off the bench for Portugal's last few matches. Santos later left his role as coach.
This year is seen by many as Messi’s last World Cup opportunity and Messi has inched closer to the win after the recent 3-0 win over Croatia in the semi finals. Messi couldn't seal the deal in 2014 when they faced Germany in the final in a 0-1 defeat. No matter the result, it will be his last time there.
Messi and Argentina are set to take on a surging France who just defeated the underdog of the tournament in Morocco. France are dealing with a very injured roster at the moment with many key players being out such as Paul Pogba, Karim Benzema, and N'Golo Kante. Kylian Mappe has been able to lead the injury-plagued France team all the way to the finals and now they are set with a chance the World Cup back to back times, the first back to back winner since Brazil in 1958 and 1962.
So who will it be? Can Messi finally get his world cup trophy or will France be able to go back to back? So many questions left unanswered that will all be answered on December 18th in Doha, Qatar