Spain coach Luis Enrique said earlier this week it would be ” unfair ” if Argentina great Lionel Messi never won the World Cup .
But time and opportunities are running out for the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner. Along with Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo , the Qatar extravaganza could be the fifth and final World Cup for one of two illustrious players of their generation – considered by many to be two of the greatest footballers of all time.
Unlike previous all-time best contenders — Brazil’s Pelé and Argentina’s Diego Maradona — at least one, maybe two, will never lift football’s greatest award. For Messi, however, this may well be his best chance of winning that elusive award.
He was so distraught after Argentina’s 1-0 loss to Germany in the Brazil final in 2014 that he even briefly announced his international retirement in 2016 .
He changed his mind, leading Argentina to a first Grand Slam title in 28 years last year, beating hosts Brazil by the same scoreline in the Copa America final and in the same Mara where they struggled seven years ago. Cana Stadium.
Midfielder Abdullah Malki insists he will not be intimidated by the occasion
Messi is a legend that any player dreams of playing against, but Abdullah Malki represents Saudi Arabia and fears no one.
Messi’s predecessor was an Argentine icon, with the late Maradona ensuring his footballing immortality when he inspired the country to its second world title in 1986 .
Messi is desperate to match World Cup glory with all his other accolades, which include four Champions League titles and 10 La Liga titles.
One last chance for Messi 💙 pic.twitter.com/KNAFFGzFgj
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) November 21, 2022
Messi is not alone
” If Spain doesn’t win the World Cup, I hope Argentina wins it because of Messi, ” Enrique, who coached Messi in Barcelona for three years, said earlier this week on Twitch .
” It’s not fair for Messi to retire without winning the World Cup. ”
There is a sense that despite the recent retirement of attacking talents such as Aguero and Higuain, Argentina ‘s squad is more balanced than in previous years.
In addition to Messi, veteran Di Maria and Lautaro Martinez also provided impact and guile in the attack. It’s really now or never for Messi, but there is a growing feeling among Argentines that it will be a long-sought international “wish” for a country and legend.