Argentina, led by the Greatest Of All Time (GOAT) Lionel Messi, shellacked Croatia 3-0 on Tuesday (Dec. 13) to advance to the 2022 World Cup final. It was a signature perfect performance from the Argentinian star, and the internet freaking loved it.
Messi scored the first goal of the match on a penalty that he slammed home in the upper right corner. But his most brilliant moment came in the 69th minute on an assist. He streaked down the right flank, spun around Croatian defender Josko Gvardiol, before placing a perfect pass to put Argentina up 3-0. It effectively ended the match. My descriptions simply do not do the plays justice. Watch for yourself.
Pretty much any sports conversation these days revolves around the GOAT debate. Messi, Ronaldo, (other) Ronaldo, Pelé, Maradona, Zidane — they’re all viable options in soccer. The only potential missing feather in Messi’s cap was a World Cup win, and he’s pretty dang close now. On Twitter, folks posted about Messi already being the sport’s undisputed GOAT. I can’t really disagree.
Others simply marveled at the skill on display and the now decades of brilliance we’ve seen from the star. Messi is 35 years old and still producing magical plays on the largest stage.
France and Morocco play on Wednesday to determine who will face Argentina in the final match. That team will be the last thing standing between Messi and the one thing he has yet to accomplish on the field.