Argentina captain Lionel Messi has opened up about Germany’s elimination from the group stage of the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.
Germany, four-time FIFA World Cup champions, failed to progress to the knockout stages of the tournament after finishing third in Group E with four points from three games. Japan topped the group with six points, while Spain finished second due to higher goal difference.
Germany have only won one World Cup game since the 2014 final
Messi, meanwhile, helped Argentina advance to the quarter-finals with his first-ever FIFA World Cup knockout goal in a 2-1 victory over Australia in their last-16 clash on Saturday (December 3).
Speaking to Diario Ole, Messi stated that he was astounded by Germany’s exit from the prestigious quadrennial tournament. He said:
“It surprised me because they had many important players, a young team and because Germany is always among the best. It’s surprising that they were eliminated in the group stage once again. But this is the World Cup, which shows how difficult it is, how even everything is and that the name of the team doesn’t matter.”
Sharing his thoughts on potential winners, he added:
“Brazil is playing very well. Beyond the defeat against Cameroon, they continue to be one of the favourites. Also France. And Spain too. They play very well, are very clear about what they want to do when they get the ball… they control possession for a long time.”
Messi, who is appearing in his fifth and final FIFA World Cup, has been in fine form of late. He has scored three goals and contributed an assist in four games so far. The 35-year-old is next scheduled to be in action against the Netherlands at the last-eight stage in Lusail on Friday (December 9).
Messi becomes Argentina’s second-highest scorer at the World Cup
Argentina are expected to face either Brazil/South Korea or Croatia/Japan in the semi-finals if they manage to beat Louis van Gaal’s side.
Lionel Messi comments on reaching unique landmark at 2022 FIFA World Cup
Speaking at a post-match press conference, Argentina and Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) superstar Lionel Messi expressed his elation on appearing in his 1000th competitive match against Australia. He said:
“I found out today that it was the 1,000th match. I live in the moment, I enjoy what we’re going through, and I’m happy to take one more step, to get through to the quarter-finals.”
So far, the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner has netted 789 goals and laid out 348 assists in 1000 combined appearances for Argentina, Barcelona and PSG during his trophy-laden senior career.
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