Lionel Messi has been proclaimed the ‘GOAT’ by Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher after his incredible performance in Argentina’s 3-0 FIFA World Cup semifinal win over Croatia on Tuesday (December 13).
La Albiceleste will head into the final on Sunday (December 18), where they will face either reigning champions France or Morocco. Messi, 35, is just 90 minutes away from sealing his legacy and winning the last major trophy that eludes him – the FIFA World Cup.
He was at his very best in Argentina’s win over Croatia, getting on the scoresheet to move level with Kylian Mbappe as the tournament’s top goalscorer. That goal came from the spot in the 34th minute after Julian Alvarez had gone down under a challenge from Croatia goalkeeper Dominik Livakovic.
The Paris Saint-Germain frontman smacked the ball into the top-hand corner of goalkeeper Dominik Livakovic’s net. Alvarez then added a second in the 39th minute, but there was Messi magic on display for Argentina’s third.
The Argentine great took the ball on the right flank and bamboozled rising star Josko Gvardiol into attempting a tackle before pulling away and finding Alvarez in the box. The Manchester City striker placed the ball past Livakovic in the 69th minute to seal a memorable win for Argentina.
Messi had two shots on target, pulled off four successful dribbles and created two big chances on the night. Carragher reacted to the Argentina captain’s performance by tweeting:
“Messi, the best there has ever been!”
Lionel Messi breaks more records for Argentina at FIFA World Cup
The records keep on coming for the irrepressible Lionel Messi. He moved ahead of Gabriel Batistuta as La Albiceleste’s top scorer at the FIFA World Cup with 11 goals. Messi made his 25th appearance in the competition, which took him level with Germany icon Lothar Matthaus for most by a player at the World Cup.
The Argentina captain joined Brazil and Germany’s legendary strikers Ronaldo Nazario and Miroslav Klose as the players with the most goal contributions (19) since 1966.
Messi also equalled Brazilian icon Pele for the most goal contributions (8) and became the oldest player to score five goals in a FIFA World Cup campaign.
Leo Messi: “Argentina is, once again, in the World Cup final. Enjoy!”
These records are a testament to the masterful Messi’s extraordinary talent. However, there is still a final to play, and his legacy as the greatest player of all time will be at stake.
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