Lionel Messi Announced His Retirement From Football


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Argentina star and captain Lionel Messi confirmed on Sunday (December 18) that the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar will be his last for his country. The 35-year-old, who helped Argentina reach the final of the ongoing tournament by beating Croatia in the first semi-final on Tuesday night (Wednesday IST), is the top scorer of this year's tournament. He scored his team's first goal against Croatia, then assisted Julian Alvarez for the third goal.

Speaking to Argentine media outlet Diario Deportivo Ole after Argentina's victory, Messi confirmed his retirement plans and said Sunday's summit will be his last game for the South American giants.

"I am very happy to achieve this and finish the World Cup by playing my last match in the final."

"It's a long year for next year and I don't think I'll reach it. It's best to finish like this," he said. Messi has been on fire in this edition of the FIFA World Cup. He has won four Player of the Year awards and has found the back of the net in five of his six matches. has been played so far.

He set several records with his impressive performance against Croatia in the first semi-final. By making his first XI appearance, he first equaled former German midfielder Lothar Matthaus' record for most World Cup appearances (25). He then scored an open goal for South America, equaling former Argentine striker Gabriel Batistuta's record for most goals by an Argentine player in the FIFA World Cup.

Messi now has 11 goals in 25 games. Not only with goals, but also with assists, Messi set a new record. He is the first player in World Cup history to score a goal and assist in the same game in four games. He has done it three times in the ongoing World Cup and once against Serbia in 2006.

Messi, who is playing a "record-equal" fifth FIFA World Cup in Qatar this year, will play in the FIFA World Cup final for the second time in his career. In the 2014 edition, he also led Argentina to the final, but had to finish as runner-up. But this year, he will hope to end the 36-year wait for his country to win the World Cup for the first time. Argentina will play the winner of the second semi-final between France and Morocco in the final on Sunday (December 18).

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