Shutterstock; Instagram/Lionel Messi
After a long wait of 36 years, Argentina, led by Lionel Messi, finally won the FIFA World Cup against France in Qatar. In the past, Argentina have won the coveted cup in 1978 and 1986, which makes 2022 their third win.
From battling growth hormone deficiency to becoming the world’s greatest football player, Lionel Messi’s journey is truly inspiring. As he lifts the World Cup trophy for Argentina, let’s take a look at his greatest achievements so far.
Talking about his journey and struggles, Messi had earlier shared, “Whenever I went onto the pitch, or when I went to school, I was always the smallest of all. At 11, I had to seek medical assistance. Every night I had to stick a needle into my legs over a period of 3 years.”
He was the youngest player in FC Barcelona history to score a goal when he was only 17 years old. And now, the 35-year-old is the highest goal scorer for Argentina in the FIFA World Cup.
Last night, Messi created history by becoming the only footballer to win the Golden Ball twice. He won his first in 2014.
Amongst all his achievements, Messi considers his Olympic Gold medal at the Beijing 2008 Games, to be the greatest of all, “The Olympic Gold in 2008 is the win that I value the most because it is a tournament that you may play only once in your life and involves many athletes from different disciplines.”
Messi holds a record of winning seven Ballond’Ors and four UEFA Champions League titles so far. After his FIFA win, he now joins an elite list of players that features Brazil’s Ronaldinho and France’s Zinedine Zidane.
For those speculating, if it was Messi’s last international game, the maestro said, "No, I'm not going to retire from the national team. I want to keep playing as World Cup champions with Argentina."