Lionel Messi Ronaldo Maradona

Lionel Messi has ascended to World Cup heaven. Photo by Kirill KUDRYAVTSEV / AFP)

FIFA World Cup: Lionel Messi wins Player of the Tournament

Lionel Messi wasn’t even born yet when Argentina won their last World Cup crown. Now, he’s captained them to glory and ascended to his own football heaven.

Lionel Messi Ronaldo Maradona

Lionel Messi has ascended to World Cup heaven. Photo by Kirill KUDRYAVTSEV / AFP)

Argentina’s skipper and talisman Lionel Messi was handed the Golden Ball as the FIFA World Cup Player of the Tournament in Qatar.

ICYMI: Record-breaking Lionel Messi steers La Albiceleste to first World Cup triumph in 36 years

Here’s a summary of his staggering performances.

Record-breaking Lionel Messi makes World Cup history of his own

  • Messi played his 26th World Cup match, an all-time record.
  • Messi’s tally of World Cup goals stands at 13, he’s now ahead of Pelé (12) in that regard.
  • Messi is the first player in World Cup history to score at every stage of a single edition of the tournament.
  • Messi both scored and assisted in three separate games at World Cup 2022, no player has ever done that at a single edition except him.

World Cup final: Lionel Messi BREAKS all-time appearance record

world cup final lionel messi
Argentina’s forward #10 Lionel Messi (2nd R) celebrates with teammates after Argentina won the Qatar 2022 World Cup final football match between Argentina and France at Lusail Stadium in Lusail, north of Doha on December 18, 2022. (Photo by Giuseppe CACACE / AFP)

ICYMI: World Cup final match report

Lionel Scaloni’s Argentina team produced an inspired first-half performance and were better than defending champions France in virtually every department. Les Bleus weren’t at the races in the first half and Argentina made them pay dearly for it. Firs, through a Messi penalty and then an exquisite counter-attacking goal from the returning Angel Di María. He couldn’t hide the emotion as he used his blue & white jersey to wipe the tears of joy from his face.

Kylian Mbappé: These ridiculous numbers don’t make sense

Dider Deschamps replaced Olivier Giroud and Ousmane Dembélé with the direct, pacey duo Randal Kolo Muani and Marcus Thuram in the 41st minute. France improved in the second period and got a goal back through Kylian Mbappé’s penalty, and then he hit a stunning second on the volley just 97 second after his first, a goal which seemed to knock the stuffing out of Argentina.

World Cup final Mbappe
Kylian Mbappe’s stunning brace took the World Cup final to extra time. Photo: AFP

Then Messi’s 108th-minute scuffed shot was adjudged to have crossed the line and everyone thought it was over, but Kylian Mbappé dramatically completed his hat-trick from the spot on 118 minutes. Chaos reigned throughout extra time and nobody knew which way the pendulum would swing next, with both sides having gilt-edged chances to win it at 3-3. Notably, Randal Kolo Muani and Lautaro Martínez.

Gonzalo Montiel hit the decisive spot-kick for Argentina who are now champions of the world.

World Cup final: Lionel Messi BREAKS all-time appearance record

World Cup final Lionel Messi
Agony and ecstasy in the biggest football match. of all. Photo by Adrian DENNIS / AFP)

Meanwhile, you can get more insights, analysis and love for the beautiful game from James Freemantle

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