Lionel Messi and Argentina couldn’t help but mock Brazil and England after reaching the World Cup final with a statement 3-0 win over Croatia at the Lusail Stadium. Lionel Scaloni’s side have now hit top form at the business end of the tournament as they prepare to face France or Morocco in Sunday’s showpiece final.
Messi was at the heart of it again as he rolled back the years with a stunning masterclass – netting his fifth goal of the World Cup to tie level with Paris Saint-Germain team-mate Kylian Mbappe for the Golden Boot.
His jaw-dropping assist was yet another remarkable Messi moment to add to his ever-growing highlight reel as he teed up Manchester City frontman Julian Alvarez for his second of the night and Argentina’s third.
Croatia have been one of the most solid teams at the tournament but they were cut to shreds by Argentina, who avenged their 3-0 defeat to the 2018 World Cup finalists in Russia four years ago.
After the match, Argentina’s players burst into celebration in the dressing room by singing a chant that saw both Brazil and England mocked following the victory.
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“I am like that, I come to encourage you, I follow Argentina everywhere.”
Argentina players were singing in sync with their supporters, who stayed behind at the Lusail Stadium to serenade their team after reaching their second final in eight years.
Now Messi, who is likely playing his last ever World Cup, is just 90 minutes away from immortality.
Delivering the biggest prize of all would undoubtedly be his crowning moment at the pinnacle of the sport after all he has achieved within the game.
The 35-year-old was seen clutching his hamstring in the first half before turning Josko Gvardiol inside out for Argentina’s third goal but Messi has confirmed he will be fit for this weekend’s final
“I am enjoying this a lot,” Messi said in delight after the joyous victory. “I am feeling really good, I feel strong enough to face every match.
“The previous match was a big sacrifice. Today we were tired but we pulled out strength to earn the victory. We played very well, we preferred to play this way because we knew they would not have the ball.
“We knew we would have to run. We prepared in a very good way. I feel very happy in this World Cup. I am able to help the squad.”