Lionel Messi’s once-in-a-generation career is complete. The Argentina superstar is finally a World Cup champion.
Messi scored two goals and then another in a shootout as Argentina beat France 4-2 on penalties Sunday to claim a third World Cup title despite Kylian Mbappé scoring the first hat trick in a final in 56 years.
Now there’s no debate. Messi is definitively in the pantheon of soccer’s greatest ever players, alongside Pelé — a record three-time World Cup champion from Brazil — and Diego Maradona, the late Argentina great with whom Messi was so often compared.
Messi achieved what Maradona did in 1986 and dominated a World Cup for Argentina.
The torch will one day pass to Mbappé, whose late goals lit up one of the most dramatic finals in the tournament’s 92-year history and made him the first scorer of a hat trick in a final since 1966, but not just yet.
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