Lionel Messi has confirmed that the final on Sunday at Lusail Stadium will be his last ever FIFA World Cup game.
Messi’s Argentina booked their place in the showpiece event with a surprisingly comfortable 3-0 win over Croatia on Tuesday evening, with a spot kick from Messi and a brace from his strike partner Julian Alvarez proving to be the difference between the two sides.
In scoring his 11th World Cup goal in the semi-final, the PSG star became Argentina’s all time top goalscorer at the competition. Messi also became the joint highest appearance maker in the tournament’s history, going level with Germany legend Lothar Matthaus on 25 games apiece.
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Speaking to Diario Deportivo Ole, Messi confirmed that the final on Sunday will be his 26th and last game at World Cups, stating: “I feel very happy, to be able to achieve this, to finish my World Cup journey by playing my last game in a final.
“It’s many years for the next one and I don’t think I’ll be able to do it. And to finish like this, it’s the best. It’s all well and good [the records], but the important thing is to be able to achieve the group objective, which is the most beautiful thing of all.
“We’re just one step away, after fighting hard, and we’re going to give everything to try to make it happen this time.”
Argentina and Messi will face off against either Morocco or France in the final.