Can Messi still win the World Cup?

It’s been a long time coming for football legend Lionel Messi. Many people call him the Greatest Of All Time (G.O.A.T), while some believe he is just supernatural.

Messi himself has proven beyond any reasonable doubt that history will forever remember him for unprecedented achievement in his playing career.

At the age of 13, young Messi joined the Barcelona youth team. His talent is one that is too obvious to ignore whenever given the opportunity to show it. He made a progress four years later and joined the Barcelona senior team in 2004 where he made his debut in October 2004.

At age 22 after helping Barcelona to achieve the first treble in Spanish football, Messi won his first Ballon d’Or. Three successful seasons followed, with Messi winning four consecutive Ballons d’Or, making him the first player to win the award four times in a row.

BARCELONA, SPAIN – DECEMBER 07: Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona holds up his sixth Ballon d’Or prior to the Liga match between FC Barcelona and RCD Mallorca at Camp Nou on December 07, 2019 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)

Messi has gone on to win a record seven Ballon d’Or awards, a record six European Golden Shoes, and in 2020 was named to the Ballon d’Or Dream Team.

He joined French giant Paris Saint-Germain in 2021, but before then, he had spent his entire professional career with Barcelona, where he won a club-record 35 trophies, including ten La Liga titles, seven Copa del Rey titles, and four UEFA Champions Leagues.

A prolific goalscorer and creative playmaker, Messi holds the records for most goals in La Liga (474), most goals in a La Liga and European league season (50), most hat-tricks in La Liga (36) and the UEFA Champions League (8), and most assists in La Liga (192), a La Liga season (21) and the Copa América (17).

He also holds the record for most international goals by a South American male (91). Messi has scored over 785 senior career goals for club and country and has the most goals by a player for a single club.

However, despite all these unmatched achievements, Messi has not won a FIFA World Cup. He made his debut in 2006 and has been Argentina’s captain since August 2011, but his worst undoing is that he has not lifted the trophy.

The 2022 World Cup in Qatar is the last for the 35-year-old, but it has started with a bad outcome for Argentina as they surrender their lead to fall 2-1 to less-fancied Saudi Arabia. Messi was the scorer of Argentina’s only goal in that game, however, his team struggled in vain to find their way back.

That poor start is no doubt a morale killer for a team looking to qualify from the group stage and even reach the final. Will that upset put an end to Argentina’s dream of winning the World Cup with Messi? Or will the present tournament just be another disappointment for Messi and the team? Only time will tell.

As the Albiceleste step out against Mexico in their second game on Saturday, they will have no other target than to win with many goals and move from the bottom of the table that they are.

They are the biggest team in Group C that also has Poland, and a failure to qualify from the group will be one of their poorest outings in the FIFA World Cup.

But as they say, in football, it is not over until it is over, and that is to say, Argentina can not only qualify from the group, but they can also go ahead against all odds to win their first World Cup since 1986.

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