Argentina world champion, with a Messi who is already a legend

Editor’s note: Esteban Campanela is an Argentine journalist. He studied at the Universidad del Salvador in Buenos Aires. He worked in Argentine media such as La Nación and TyC Sports. He is currently the bureau chief of CNN en Español in Buenos Aires.

(CNN Spanish) — Lionel Messi went straight to the world cup. He looked at her and kissed her like that love of a lifetime that he could never be, but was. It’s the perfect ending for the perfect player. Mbappé wanted to be Pelé, but Messi was Maradona. And more still. It was Lionel Andrés Messi, the best soccer player of all time.

Messi’s smile: historical images of the Qatar 2022 final 1:10

Many foreigners may be surprised by this fact, but for many years tango has not been the most popular musical genre in Argentina. However, it describes the national DNA like few others. In tango you suffer, you fight, you lose everything “for a head”. Without suffering, it could not be. The 2-0 was too simple a scenario for a team and a town that is used to fighting to enjoy. Mbappé’s two goals almost turned the dream into a nightmare. Echoes of ancient defeats began to resound. The lost final of Brazil 2014, the Copa América finals of 2015 and 2016 and more. The wear and tear on the team throughout the game was beginning to be felt and the emotional blow was huge. To top it off, Di María, Messi’s perfect partner, was no longer on the field of play.

The extension arrived again. And Lionel Messi put on the hero’s suit again. After an attack pushed by the enormous soul of La Scaloneta, the man from Rosario sent the ball into the goal as best he could, once again. Now it was. That was the perfect ending, if Argentina was going to be world champion, they had to define the game with a goal from their number 10.

But not.

It wasn’t going to be that easy. Another penalty for France gave the villain of this film a new opportunity to steal the love of the most desired by all. And it didn’t fail. Mbappé does not fail, he is a machine with limitless sporting ambition. Third goal for him and the definition from eleven meters.

France tried to be world champion with goals from Mbappé 0:44

Then again the uncertainty. And fate once again loaded Messi’s luggage with kilos and kilos of pressure. That walk from half court must have been the longest of his entire life. After a short run, he finished smoothly, to the other side of the goalkeeper. If Argentina was not going to be world champion, it was not going to be because of the responsibility of 10.

Messi was the “messiah” in the Qatari desert, guided by the soccer god from above. Seven goals in this World Cup, the first time someone has scored in the round of 16, quarterfinals, semifinals and final. Already with the initial whistle he broke another record. With 26 World Cup appearances, he became the player with the most appearances. In addition, in Qatar and at 35 years old, he played absolutely every minute. Probably no other crack in history tried as much as he did. That is Messi’s teaching for everyone. The important thing is to try, to leave everything. The only thing that depends on oneself is the attitude, the resilience, always turning the other cheek. For that, the Argentines were already grateful.

In the country of cracks and divisions, this team got unanimous support. The other lesson is that important goals are achieved together. In football, as in life, we always need help from others. And Messi’s teammates were there. Emiliano Martínez had the arms of the 45 million Argentines with him. A giant goalkeeper who had the most decisive performance from a goalkeeper in all of memory. Dybala, Paredes and Montiel had in their legs the blood pumped by absolutely all the albiceleste hearts on the planet. Then yes. He finished the film with that unique and unrepeatable script. All the way traveled, the tears upon tears, the suffering, the disappointments, the fights, the injustices, all that was left behind.

“First you have to know how to suffer, then love”, says the lyrics of “Naranjo en Flor”. The tango is danced in pairs. They danced it in love Messi and the world cup. And one day, Argentina was happy. Chan Chan.