World Cup Final-2022: Mbappé – Messi, a rivalry for the history books
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The 2022 World Cup final between Argentina and the France team will feature a rivalry between two of the biggest stars in current football: Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappé. The two PSG players dream of getting their hands on football’s highest trophy to mark their country’s history once again.
One is Maradona’s heir in Argentine football. Others dream of becoming the spiritual successor of the Brazilian Pelé. Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappé will face each other in the final in Lusail, Qatar, on Sunday 18 December, with each hoping to offer their country a third World Cup.
In the football galaxy, this is a moment in history. Like a handover between the setting sun Lionel Messi and the current comet of the round ball Kylian Mbappé. On the one hand, the Argentinian with seven Ballons d’Or who wants to win the only trophy he lacks at the age of 35. On the other hand, the French prodigy who is aiming for a second consecutive coronation without 24 years old, which would put him in the footsteps of King Pelé.
The comparison is not blasphemy.
The only player in the past with whom I can compare the new Mbappé who dominates as number 10, is Pelé pic.twitter.com/s31dSOE4by
— Tancredi Palmeri (@tancredipalmeri) December 17, 2022
The Mbappé – Messi duel has fans of football, sports, history and statistics salivating. The two superstars, who work together under the Qatari banner at Paris SG, lead the World Cup scorer ranking before the final, with five units. The winner is straight for the Ballon d’Or, eighth for Messi or the first for Mbappé.
Their president at PSG is enthusiastic: “I’m proud to have two players, the two best players in the world, playing the final in my country, it’s the best scenario,” said Nasser Al-Khelaifi.
When asked for whom his heart moves before the final, the PSG boss did not want to be read: “We are a French club and my second country is France but for Messi, this is probably his last World Cup . Kylian, who will play the second consecutive finals, is really nice. He proved that he is the best player today. I can’t wait to be at this final because it’s a great pleasure and a great pride for me as president of Paris Saint -Germain. If it were me, I would give the title to both”, he said.
Lionel Messi, a missing trophy
To lead the table of Argentine legends, with the late Diego Maradona, who was crowned in 1986, by his side, “La Pulga” just needs this final trophy: “He knows it’s his last chance”, underlined Pablo Zabaleta , his partner in the 2014 World Cup.
Unlike his first final defeat that year after extra time against Germany, Messi seems to be surrounded in Qatar by a colony of fighters, from Leandro Paredes to Nicolas Otamendi, through Julian Alvarez, offensive revelation with four goals, like Giroud.
Will he know the glory of “Pibe de Oro”? Or will he emerge between tears and sadness, like Cristiano Ronaldo, the other legend of his century?
For a long time, the Argentinian suffered from comparisons with his glorious elder, who died in 2020, mainly because of his disappointing selection results, until his coronation in the final of the Copa América 2021. Above all, his cautious personality and his shy naturalness earned him unfavorable comparisons with the charismatic Maradona, who had a loud voice and was assumed to be cunning.
But in Qatar, the Argentine seems to have reorganized himself. He seems to be inhabited by the spirit of his old sulphur. In this World Cup, Messi has added a weapon to his panoply: a touch of aggressiveness or grit in attitude, which is very popular in Argentina. He even showed an unrecognizable face of a haunted, vengeful and angry after the Albiceleste’s victory against the Netherlands, with his now famous “Qué miras, bobo? (What are you looking at, moron?, Editor’s note)” , faced with an opponent.
Mbappé, the precocity of Pelé
On the side of Kylian Mbappé, we ran away from the cameras and the journalists during this stay in Qatar, if except for an appearance at a press conference after the match against Poland. A precocious football talent, world champion from the age of 19, Kylian Mbappé has become a master in the art of meeting expectations with records, confusing dribbling on and off the field and meticulous management of his image as a global star.
With 250 goals scored in his first 362 matches, the Monaco-trained player surpassed two legends of the 21st century early. He will probably soon become the top scorer in the history of Paris SG, ahead of Edinson Cavani (200 goals, against 190 in “Kyky”).
Mbappé ?? is on a mission to join Pelé ??. Messi ?? is on a mission to join Maradona ??. Duel of a king in the World Cup final ?? pic.twitter.com/7Um0LyIepf
— AZ (@kamanmpo) December 15, 2022
And in the medium term, Olivier Giroud’s record of goals in the French team (53) will surely fall into the hands of the insatiable striker (33, including 9 in the World Cup), which is seventh in the rankings with Blues leading Zinedine Zidane. . Waiting for a first Ballon d’Or?
“I always want to be first everywhere, in the French team as in the club”, acknowledged the French No. 10 in March, a few months from the World Cup, his “obsession”.
Crack’s breakthrough times are reminiscent of Pelé’s. From South America, “O Rei” found himself with Kylian and he was officially knighted at the end of the World Cup-2018. But “the King will always remain the King”, replied Mbappé, humbled by the legend and his 12 World Cup goals.
A debate settled in the final?
Will the World Cup decide the best player in the world? Not for Mario Kempes, 1978 world champion with Argentina: “Same [sont les meilleurs joueur du monde]. Mbappe is the future. Messi has long been the best player in the world. This suggests that without Messi… Mbappé has just started or almost, even if he is already world champion”, he studies. “It will be a balanced match where we cannot say whether Mbappé is will be better than Messi or vice versa. I believe team play will bring out one or the other as the big man of the match.”
Same warning from Hugo Lloris. The goalkeeper and captain of the Blues refuses to see the final reduced to a duel of stars: “You should not focus on two players. It’s a clash between two teams. When you have a player like Messi, you have to be careful but this is a mistake to focus on it. He has a whole team at his service”, he said. “We know what Leo Messi represents in the history of our sport, but above all this is a match between the French team and the Argentine team.”
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