Lionel Messi finally received the World Cup trophy in what he declared to be his final game, regardless of the win.
While the match appeared to be a straightforward victory for Argentina over a fatigued France team for much of the final, Kylian Mbappé’s extraordinary brace at the start of the final 10 minutes of regulation time transformed the game into a nail-biting thriller that has been hailed as one of the greatest World Cup finals of all time.
Messi himself scored twice, including a goal late in extra time that appeared to finally give Argentina the victory. But Mbappé scored from a penalty spot seconds later to seal his hat-trick and trigger a penalty shoot after the game finished 3-3. Argentina ultimately won the penalty shootout 4-2 thanks to goals from Messi and Mbappé, who are also Paris St. Germain colleagues on the club level.
He next shared pictures of himself rejoicing with the trophy along with a heartfelt Instagram post in which he congratulated his teammates, family, and Argentina’s supporters.
Although it could be his last World Cup game, he still plans to play for Argentina. “WORLD CHAMPIONS!!!!!!! I dreamed it so many times, I wanted it so much that I still haven’t fallen, I can’t believe it,” Messi said in Spanish.
“Thank you very much to my family, to all who support me and also to all who believed in us. We demonstrate once again that Argentines when we fight together and united we are capable of achieving what we set out to do. The merit belongs to this group, which is above individualities, it is the strength of all fighting for the same dream that was also the dream of all Argentines… We did it!!! GO ARGENTINA!!!!! we are seeing each other very soon,” Messi wrote in his latest Instagram post.
The latest post currently has more than 45 million likes, making it the most popular Instagram post from a sportsperson.
A post featuring Messi also held the previous record, but it was posted by his great rival Cristiano Ronaldo. The picture appeared to show Ronaldo and Messi engaged in a game of chess.
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