GLOBAL FOOTBALLING SUPERSTAR Lionel Messi has confirmed that this weekend's World Cup final will be his last game in an Argentina jersey.
Messi, the captain of the Argentina team has played 172 times for his country, played in 5 World Cups, scored 96 goals and broke a heap of different records since his debut in 2005.
The former Barcelona man has won every honour under the sun available to him, but the coveted World Cup has evaded him.
Back in 2014, Argentina were beaten by Germany to the Jules Rimet Trophy. Before and after that the South American side have failed to replicate the feats of the 1978 and Diego Maradona' inspired 1986 World Cup winning teams.
Lionel Messi has confirmed he will play his last World Cup game when Argentina take on France or Morocco in Sunday's final in Qatar.#LionelMessi #FIFAWorldCupQatar2022 #FIFAWorldCup #ArgentinaVsCroatia #retirement #Messi https://t.co/gGl8G22ZEF
— The Telegraph (@ttindia) December 14, 2022
This year Messi has carried Lionel Scaloni's side to the final with five goals and three assists at the WC.
Yesterday, Messi inspired his national side to a 3-0 win over a plucky Croatia side. The 35-year-old scored the opening penalty, was a menace throughout the game, and made one of the best young defenders in the world Joško Gvardiol look silly for the third goal on Monday.
Argentina and Messi now await the winners of France and Morocco in tonight's final to see who they will face on Sunday at 15.00.
Whatever happens Messi has claimed that Sunday's game will be his last for his national team.
"I feel very happy to be able to achieve this, to finish my World Cup journey by playing my last game in a final," Messi told Argentine media outlet Diario Deportivo Olé.
"It's many years for the next one and I don't think I'll be able to do it. And to finish like this, it's the best," added the Argentina captain.
The football icon also set a new record yesterday by overtaking Argentina legend Gabriel Batistuta as the top Albiceleste scorer at World Cups, netting 11 times.
Messi isn't concerned about individual honours and has his eyes firmly set on creating history on Sunday.
"It's all well and good (the records), but the important thing is to be able to achieve the group objective, which is the most beautiful thing of all," Messi added. "We're just one step away, after fighting hard, and we're going to give everything to try to make it happen this time."
France plays Morocco tonight in the last semi-final at 19.00.
The game will be on RTE Two and BBC One later tonight.
This Lionel Messi assist 🤯
He made Josko Gvardiol, touted for a £70m move away from RB Leipzig, look like he wasn't there. #BBCWorldCup #FifaWorldCup pic.twitter.com/07PgPzBSX4
— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) December 14, 2022