Argentina skipper Lionel Messi will look to win his first World Cup title, and Argentina its third, when it faces France in the final of the FIFA World Cup 2022 at the Lusail Stadium in Qatar on Sunday.
Messi has been one of the tournament’s best players and is a leading contender for the Golden Boot with five goals, joint-highest with France’s Kylian Mbappe. However, he has three assists compared to Mbappe’s two, which puts him at the top of the Golden Boot race.
This is not the first time Messi is playing in a World Cup final. He reached the final of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, where Argentina suffered a 1-0 defeat against Germany.
What happened when Messi last played in a World Cup final?
In the 2014 World Cup, Argentina, under the tutelage of the late Alejandro Sabella, finished top of Group F with three wins, before beating Switzerland in the round of 16, Belgium in the quarter-final and the Netherlands in a penalty shoot-out in the semi-final.
Argentina had one final hurdle, which came in the form of an in-form German side. The final took place in the historic Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro.
In the match, Gonzalo Higuain missed a big chance for Argentina in the first-half, while Benedikt Howedes did the same for Germany did the same just before half-time when his strike hit the post.
Messi also had a chance to give Argentina a lead when he was one-on-one with Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer, but his shot went wide, and the score remained 0-0.
In the 71st minute, Thomas Muller broke clear of the Argentine backline courtesy of some wonderful build-up play with Andre Schurrle and Mesut Ozil. However, he could not keep control of the ball and lost it to Argentina keeper Sergio Romero.
With the score level at 0-0, the match went to extra-time. In the 113th minute of extra-time, Schurrle set up Mario Gotze with a wonderful cross from the left flank. Gotze chested the ball showing exquisite control, before volleying the ball into the net for a late Germany lead.
Germany held to the lead and won its fourth World Cup title, breaking Argentinian hearts.
Messi’s wait for the World Cup continued, and at the time, he was still yet to win a major international trophy with Argentina.
Despite the final loss, Messi had a good World Cup in 2014 and won the Golden Ball. He finished the tournament with four gold and one assist.
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