Former Barcelona star Andres Iniesta has lavished praise on his former teammate Lionel Messi after he won the 2022 FIFA World Cup with Argentina. La Albiceleste beat France 4-2 on penalties to win their third title in the competition, with Messi playing a crucial role once more.
He struck twice from open play as the sides played out a pulsating 3-3 draw after 120 minutes before converting his penalty in the shootouts.
With Kingsley Coman and Aurelien Tchouameni missing their spot-kicks, Gonzalo Montiel sealed the World Cup for Argentina with the decisive kick.
Messi’s dream of winning the elusive trophy finally came true as the world hailed the 35-year-old as the undisputed greatest player of all time. Iniesta, who played over 500 times with the Argentine at Barcelona, hailed his former teammate for his ‘spectacular’ campaign and for ‘doing everything possible’.
On his return to Barcelona’s training ground, Ciutat Esportiva, he said (via PSG Talk):
“Leo did everything possible to get it. The World Cup that he had was spectacular in every way, and the icing on the cake with the World Cup was incredible.”
Messi struck a total of seven times, made three assists and led the team from the front. He won the 2022 FIFA World Cup Golden Ball award for being the best performer in the tournament.
He broke numerous records along the way too, such as becoming the first player to score in every knockout game in a single World Cup, whilst also surpassing Gabriel Batistuta to become Argentina’s all-time top-scorer of the tournament.
Iniesta is well aware of winning the FIFA World Cup, having famously scored the winning goal for Spain in the 2010 final against the Netherlands for their first-ever title.
Lionel Messi has cemented his ‘GOAT’ legacy after 2022 FIFA World Cup win
Despite all his accomplishments for nearly two decades, there was a general consensus that Lionel Messi should win the FIFA World Cup to truly cement his legacy as the greatest of all time.
Now, with that condition fulfilled too, the Argentine is being hailed as the undisputed ‘GOAT’, having won every major trophy for club and country.
Until 18 months ago, Messi hadn’t won a single trophy with Argentina, but it all changed with his Copa America triumph, though the eternal debate raged on. However, he’s now won the ultimate prize in football, and there can be little argument about Lionel Messi’s status as the best-ever player.
Messi’s closest rival Cristiano Ronaldo, meanwhile, had a sub-par campaign in Qatar, crashing out of the quarter-finals after losing 0-1 to Morocco. He scored only one goal and was benched during Portugal’s knockout games against Switzerland and Morocco.
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