The crowning moment for Messi (and Argentina) | Opinion

With apologies to Tom Brady, Stephen Curry, Aaron Judge, and others, the world’s greatest athlete – and certainly the most famous – is a petite, low-shouldered football player named Lionel Messi.

He’s 1.70 meters – the result of a childhood medical issue – and 148 pounds, and if you’d seen him on the field, he’d be the last man you’d pick for your team. On Sunday, he put soccer-mad Argentina on his tiny shoulders and led his fellow countrymen to a 4-2 penalty shootout against France in an epic World Cup final.

Americans consider the Super Bowl to be the ultimate sporting event, but it pales in comparison to the World Cup and its influence. The last Super Bowl was watched by 99 million people. The 2018 World Cup final was watched by 1.1 billion people.

A headline in The New York Times read: “The Coronation Ceremony Is Complete! Argentina Rejoices, Lionel Messi Claims His Crown.”

Also Read :  What Are the Manufacturers Evolving in the Growth of the AI Powered Chatbots Market?

Playing in the fifth and final World Cup and the second World Cup final, the 35-year-old Messi scored two of the team’s three goals in rules and overtime, and then netted the first penalty in what could be the biggest game in history. . It was a showdown between defending champions from France and Argentina, Messi and Kylian Mbappe, who scored three goals in the rule and took a penalty kick.

Argentina seemed to be on their way to victory, taking a 2-0 lead in the 80th minute of the game, but then Mbappe scored twice in 90 seconds and started biting nails. The regulation game is over. Messi scored again in the 108th minute. Ten minutes later, Mbappe scored to level the match. In the end, the match ended in a penalty shootout and Messi took the only missing thing from his resume.

Also Read :  Poor maintenance poses a great risk to water supply: Expert

He is the all-time leader in goals and assists in La Liga, the NFL version of European football. In twenty years he has scored more than 800 goals and won seven Ballon d’Ors (Golden Ball) awarded to the best player in the world.

Messi was great playing in La Liga, winning a record 10 league titles abroad, but was unable to lead his home country to a world title, which led to complaints from fans at home. This was Messi’s fifth World Cup match, and his first four ended in heartbreak – he was eliminated in the quarter-finals in 2006 and 2010, finished second in 2014, and was eliminated in the round of 16 in 2018 (losing to France).

It was a failure for its citizens, as dreadful as inflation. Americans consider the Super Bowl to be the ultimate sporting event, but it pales in comparison to the World Cup and its influence. The last Super Bowl was watched by 99 million people. The 2018 World Cup final was watched by 1.1 billion people (the entire tournament was watched by 3.5 billion).

Also Read :  Former royal snapper living in Normandy tells of gnome gift to Charles

It’s a global event – in fact there are more national football teams (211) than countries (195) because countries like the United Kingdom have created teams for Scotland, Ireland, Wales and Great Britain.

No one is as passionate about the game as the Argentines. Everything is wrong in the country – decades of inflation (currently at 88%), poverty and political unrest. People work long days and multiple jobs. But they put all that aside to support the Argentina Team, especially the World Cup.

AP22353062342818.jpg

Argentina’s Lionel Messi holds the winners’ trophy as he celebrates with fans after Argentina’s victory in the World Cup final against France at the Lusail Stadium in Lusail, Qatar, on Sunday, December 18, 2022.

Francisco Seco, Associated Press

“Football is everything,” 24-year-old Belen Godoy told ABC News. “I left my family. I’ve spent all my savings. I’m going back to Buenos Aires and I don’t know how to pay the rent… but no one can take away what I’ve been through.”

Christian Machinelli, 34, told ABC: “I sold a Toyota truck for this. I’ve spent so far here and have enough money left to buy the final ticket. There is no explanation or rationale other than that we Argentines are crazy about football and will go all kinds of crazy to support (the team).

Nicolas Orellano, 30, told The Sun that he had spent all his savings and borrowed money to go to Doha, where Argentine fans gathered in a commune nicknamed “Little Buenos Aires.” Before the final, Orellano said: “I have no money and no idea how to get home, but there is no way I can leave, now we are very close to seeing Lionel Messi lift the World Cup. Our politicians at home disappointed us but our football team is disappointed “They didn’t disappoint – they’re the only hope we have. It’s a special kind of madness that brought us here when we had so little.”

The Sun reports that 60,000 Argentines made the 8,000-mile journey to Doha, where the stadium seats 89,000.

Messi was born in the midst of this football frenzy. He showed promise as a man, but on his 12th birthday his parents realized that he was much younger than his peers. Doctors determined that he had a growth hormone deficiency. As explained by MoneyControl News, young Messi was injected with growth hormone in both legs every night, but the family did not have the money to continue the treatments. FC Barcelona, ​​a professional football team in Spain, has offered to cover the costs of his treatment if he joins the team at the age of 13.

He could never get too big, but he made up for it with his dazzling quickness, ball handling skills and footwork, all on display in Doha.

Not surprisingly, Argentina erupted after the victory. An estimated 2 million people gathered around or near the Plaza de la Republica Obelisk in central Buenos Aires, shouting, hugging and jumping up and down for hours. They had gone mad in a way that many in the world could never understand. Ask yourself: Could something happen that will cause millions of Americans to take to the streets to celebrate?

After losing 1-0 to Germany in the 2014 World Cup final, Messi said, “Argentina is my country, my family, my way of expressing myself. “I would change all my records to make people in my country happy.”

AP22353051698300.jpg

Argentina’s Lionel Messi (left) celebrates with teammate Angel Di Maria after scoring his team’s opening goal in the World Cup final football match between Argentina and France at the Lusail Stadium in Lusail, Qatar, on Sunday, December 18, 2022.

Francisco Seco, Associated Press



Source

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.