Lionel Messi finally worshiped its full extent
A winding genius with a cautious personality, who makes routine work, the Argentine player joined football’s Olympus on Sunday when he finally won the World Cup, earning him a claim to the status of greatest player in history. .
At the end of a final anthology, when Lionel Messi leaned over to kiss the World Cup, we thought we saw the carefree young prodigy of his debut. It was as if, at the age of 36, he finally won this trophy that he so much desired for his country that freed him from the burden of years and responsibilities. Then, “Pulga” raised its head. His beard reappeared when he celebrated that title with the Argentinian people who finally worshiped him in their proper measure, arranging him to the left of Maradona with the third highest trophy ever brought to his country.
The shadow of the small attacker grew even longer. Here is Lionel Messi (35) among the legends of football, the envied and adored champions of the world, which heroes like Johan Cruyff, Michel Platini or Ferenc Puskas never did. With this 41e The most prestigious trophy of his long and fruitful career, Messi went to the top of the pyramid of football monsters, until his countryman Diego Maradona, who was crowned in 1986.
And if there is a match against “King” Pelé, the only player with three world champions, but never played for a European club, the Argentinian’s magnificent record may be difficult to match… Even Cristiano Ronaldo, five times that Ballon d ‘O, found himself left behind: at 37, the Portuguese will probably never become a world champion and bow to his eternal rival, “an incredible, magical, top player”, sum he last November.
A complete list
In Argentina, the coronation of the Albiceleste triggered scenes of ecstasy. Until Sunday, fans considered Messi to be great but there was only one “God”, Diego Maradona, the “Pibe de Oro”. The third star will change everything. “Now I know which player will succeed me in football, and his name is Lionel Messi,” Maradona predicted in 2010.
Besides, Messi has won more than Maradona and Pelé. Seven Ballons d’Or, four Champions Leagues, an avalanche of championships and cups in Barcelona then in Paris SG, a Copa America in 2021 and therefore this World Cup.
He is the captain of the Argentine selection, its top scorer (98 goals), the one who wore the jersey the most (172 selections). Forgotten, the failures of 2014 (defeat in the final) or 2018 (failure against France in the eighth). His brief international retirement was erased in 2016, after a third defeat in the Copa América final.
An unstoppable attacker
Now a polytheist, Argentina will honor the boy from Rosario, who entered the sky with the third star of the Albiceleste, 36 years after the maradonian epic in 1986.
Messi was born a year later, in 1987, in Rosario, in the north of the country. When the planet discovered this long-haired boy, it was touched by the fate of the little left-hander who, according to established history, left Argentina at the age of 13 in search of a club in Barcelona that would finance his medical treatment to live. his problems growing up.
Launched in the first team of Barça in 2004, the striker left the club in 2021, becoming the club’s most successful player by accumulating records: top scorer in the history of Barça, top scorer in the history of La Liga Espanyol, record holder for number of goals in a calendar year (91 in 2012)…
An exceptional player, Messi has developed the natural qualities that make the difference: speed, vision, devastating dribbling and surgical finishing. “No defensive system can stop him, no coach. He is too strong”, summed up one day Pep Guardiola, his ex-mentor at Barça.
A father with a good lifestyle
In Qatar, Messi added a weapon to his panoply: a touch of aggressive attitude, so popular in Argentina. We saw him show the unknown face of the lodger, vengeful and angry after the victory of the Albiceleste in the quarterfinals against the Netherlands, with his now famous “Qué miras, bobo? (What are you looking at, moron?), Editor’s Note )”, addressed to the Dutchman Wout Weghorst, author of the double, during his live interview.
Despite everything, Messi will never have the almost mystical aura that surrounds Maradona. But he wasn’t looking for it. The speeches of the PSG striker remain rare and without relief. His many tattoos are the only eccentricity of this clean-living family man.
The taste for the game, touching shyness and childish smile also got positive opinions of the Argentinian, unlike the “bling-bling” of Cristiano Ronaldo, an image that was tarnished only by a conviction for avoiding tax in 2017.
Despite everything, Messi managed to maintain the perfect son-in-law status, in a relationship with Antonella, a childhood friend, and father of Thiago, Mateo and Ciro. The oldest of the three toddlers also measures his father’s height, as Messi once said, all smiles: “Every time I leave the house, (Thiago) gets angry and asks me: ‘Dad, are you still going to -score goals?