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There is finally something new to say about Lionel Messi, World Cup winner

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13-year-old Lionel Messi once gave a Q&A interview while still playing for Newell’s Old Boys youth teams. speaking to The Capital Newspaper, a local newspaper from Rosario, revealed that if he could eat any food, it would be chicken with sauce. If he could date any model, it would be Argentinian television personality Nicole Neumann. If I could watch any movie, it would be a 1994 adventure comedy. baby day. And if he could do any job, he would be a physical education teacher.

Earlier this week, a grainy scanned copy of that interview went semi-viral on social media. You may have seen it, in fact. The story was picked up by various news websites and content platforms. It was one of the top-voted posts on the r/soccer subreddit, no less. It was shared and re-shared, ripped and added, recycled and regurgitated until we all had our fill, the same way every new and previously undetected morsel of Messi is.

Except this wasn’t the first time the interview had turned around. He hadn’t been in someone’s penthouse for 22 years, only to be discovered a few days before the biggest night of Messi’s long career. That would be quite a coincidence, when you think about it. In fact, it had first come to light three years ago, when it was shared and re-shared, ripped and added, recycled and regurgitated until we all had our fill, too.

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That is the challenge that Messi has posed to this profession since he first declared his genius: what else is there to say that hasn’t already been said? Once you’ve called it the best at doing it, where exactly do you go from there? This was Messi’s 26th World Cup appearance, an all-time record. The press boxes at these tournaments house hundreds of print journalists, all filing hundreds of words. Multiply that by 26 and that’s several million words in total. And that’s just the World Cups, and just us who don’t pay to get in.

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However, at least with a final comes finality, winners and losers, clean cuts and sharp edges. So while you can try to find a new angle, you can write about Angry Heel Turn Messi, geopolitical tool Messi, the one who still needs the other 10 guys every once in a while Messi, the Messi everyone still wants to hear about in a World Cup . final, the Messi that everyone still wants to talk about in a World Cup final, the Messi that all the writers who had the privilege of being at Lusail wanted to end up writing about is the Great Messi, on the brink of greatness .

And perhaps more than any other in the history of the sport, this game was about what the people wanted, because that was exactly what Messi wanted too.

Just before kick-off at the Lusail, as he walked towards the touchline to hand over France’s pre-game pendant, something in his peripheral vision caught Messi’s attention. It was the movement of a photographer approaching a close-up of the trophy, which was still on its pedestal between the benches. Messi peeked at him for a couple of seconds and then went back to his pre-match duties. By the time they were completed, he was gone again. You wondered if that would be the closest he got to the trophy all night. You weren’t wondering that for a long time.

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Messi casually passes football’s most coveted trophy

(fake images)

It started well, perhaps too well, and as has often happened in the last month, with Messi stopped on a penalty. His first career goal in a World Cup final was his sixth at this tournament, two-thirds of them by that time having come from the penalty spot. Even that seems like something of a triumph. Penalty taking has always been the one curiously average aspect of his masterful game, the one area that needs improvement. He has scored four of five in Qatar, six of seven including penalties, comfortably improving on his mediocre career record.

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Yet no one inside Lusail or the billions watching around the world came to see Messi score from 12 yards. If that had been all, they may have even left feeling a bit changed. What they came looking for was the goal that seemed to take over this final, which seemed to have won it. And though it was the best team goal on this stage since Mexico City in 1970, its highlight came from Messi’s left foot, that instrument of grace and beauty that is equally ruinous and devastating, hurling the ball back to place Julian. Álvarez out, Alexis Mac Allister, Angel di Maria for two.

The magician scores the first goal of the final


Argentina had never had it so good and never had it so easy. The only problem was that 120 years of history suggested that this should not be the case. For the first 80 minutes of this final, France put on an abysmal, listless performance that was only made even more inexplicable by the resurrection powers that followed. Kylian Mbappé is the second man to score a hat-trick in a World Cup final. He is also the first to do it and lose. The comeback produced by Didier Deschamps’ team gave us the best and most dramatic World Cup final in living memory.

But even that is secondary to the final chapter of one of the most compelling stories in sports, the kind that sports rarely allows to be written. It was almost even better. It was almost perfection. For a minute or 10 back there, it looked like Messi would be the winner of the game, as if the ugliest of his nearly century of goals for Argentina was the difference. Should not. But who won it was not important. All that mattered was that they did. Messi took the first penalty of the shootout, as he did in the quarterfinals, leaving his fate, his fate and possibly his legacy in the hands of others.

When that interview with a 13-year-old Messi was shared, many missed possibly the most interesting parts. In addition to the ambition of a physical education teacher, Messi was asked several quick questions about what he wants to achieve in life. His “goal” was to finish high school. His “objective” was to play in the Argentine first division. His “hope” was to play in it with Newell’s. His “dream” was to play for Argentina. Assuming he already knew he was pretty decent at soccer, it was hardly an Icarus thing.

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Messi is finally world champion

(fake images)

And yet, so far, it has fallen short on almost every single one of those measures. Messi never finished school, he was taken to La Masia just a few months after giving that interview. He is still waiting for his debut in Argentina’s first division, just as he hasn’t played for Newell’s yet. He also did not become a physical education teacher. However, he would achieve the most difficult of those ambitions. He would achieve his dream and play for Argentina.

And after 17 years in international football, after the longing and waiting, after the withdrawals and withdrawals, after breaking down in the locker room after the defeat in the quarterfinals against Germany in 2010, crying, convulsing and moaning before a story that seemed doomed to repeat itself, there is finally something new to say. Lionel Messi is a World Cup winner. And perhaps if you asked a 13-year-old Messi he would tell you that enough is enough.

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