Argentina captain Lionel Messi equals 66-year-old FIFA World Cup record after magnificent display against Croatia

Argentina are into the 2022 FIFA World Cup finals!
Argentina are into the 2022 FIFA World Cup finals!

Argentina roared into the 2022 FIFA World Cup final on Tuesday, 13 December, after beating Croatia 3-0 on the back of an inspiring performance from Lionel Messi. The captain of the victorious team also broke a long-standing record.

The Argentina captain was involved in all three goals on the night. He scored a penalty to break the deadlock, started the counter-attack which led to Julian Alvarez's second goal, and assisted him for the third.

The 35-year-old was simply unstoppable on the night as he guided his team into their second World Cup final in three editions.

With these assists and goal-scoring heroics on the night, Messi became the first player to both score and assist in four separate World Cup games since 1966.

Three of those games came in the current tournament alone, as the Argentine captain bagged a goal and an assist against Mexico, the Netherlands, and Croatia.

Overall, the PSG ace has scored five goals in Qatar so far, joint-most with France's Kylian Mbappe. Messi's three assists put him alongside Antoine Griezmann, Harry Kane, and Bruno Fernandes as the best creators of the tournament.

Before the start of the tournament, Messi revealed that this is going to be his final World Cup with Argentina, and he now stands one game away from lifting the trophy itself.

It would be a perfect farewell for the 35-year-old, should they go on to win it.

Argentina march into 2022 FIFA World Cup finals

Argentina reached their second FIFA World Cup final in three tournaments after clinically dispatching Croatia in a resounding 3-0 victory.

Having started the game on the backfoot, with the Vatreni dominating possession and looking to attack, the Albiceleste slowly worked their way back into it. They took their chances with aplomb.

Julian Alvarez, with a sensational double, once again demonstrated his immense potential, but the night truly belonged to one man - Lionel Messi.

The 35-year-old turned in a spectacular performance to collect his fourth Man-of-the-Match award of the tournament. He also surpassed Gabriel Batistuta as Argentina's most prolific scorer in World Cups.

The World Cup title has long eluded Messi, who is widely considered one of the greatest of all time, but winning it would make the 'GOAT' title his own.

He did come close in the 2014 edition, but the rampaging German team foiled his hopes as his team lost 1-0 in the final. The two-time former World Cup winners also started their current campaign on a bad note, losing to Saudi Arabia in their first match. However, since then, they have set things right and are ready for the big showdown again.

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Edited by Akshay Saraswat
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