Messi or Ronaldo? Messi or Maradona? These are debates the soccer world have beaten into the ground for the last decade and a half. Thankfully, those silly exercises of banging heads against a wall expecting an outcome are over. Lionel Messi, at 35 years of age, cemented his legacy in Qatar with one of the most iconic performances we’ve ever seen.

Just as it looked as if the greatest soccer player 메이저사이트of his generation would go off into the sunset with claiming the biggest prize in the sport, all the pieces merged together as if fate were guiding them all along.

Past his prime and a step off his best, there was hope that this last run at a World Cup would be Messi and Argentina’s chance at glory. Hope is one thing, but actually believing that it would happen is another. After a shock opening loss to Saudi Arabia it appeared that the dream was dashed. Like so many times before, it would be heartbreak and disappointment at the international stage for Messi.

Then something changed.

Almost like a caterpillar shedding its cocoon, Messi came to life and resuscitated Argentina from the brink of another failure. Except this was unlike the Messi we’ve all come to know over the past 18 magnificent years. Usually always calm and stoic in demeanor, something clicked and triggered a side of the legend we rarely see. The dramatic quarterfinal win over the Netherlands exemplified this metamorphosis as Messi once again played his part but did so with a passion and fervor rarely exuded. Following the deciding penalty shootout, the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner could be seen gloating in front of Louis van Gaal and Edgar Davids. Later, during a post-game interview, he would taught opposing striker Wout Weghorst with playful insults. Messi wanted this World Cup for Argentina more than anything he’s ever wanted in his career and it began to show.

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