Lionel Messi will be playing his fifth WC in Qatar
Photo : AP
Lionel Messi will play his fifth World cup in Qatar Messi was part of Argentina side that lost the final in 2014Messi made his WC debut in the 2014 edition One of the reasons making the 2022 FIFA World Cup a special one is the fact that is more than likely to be Lionel Messi’s last appearance in the showpiece event. Messi will be taking part in the world’s biggest sporting event for the fifth time having played the 2006, 2010, 2014, and 2018 edition.
While there is no doubting Messi’s greatness and he has achieved unprecedented feats in his incredible career over the last two decades, the one thing that eludes him is the FIFA World Cup trophy. Messi-led Argentina fell short at the final hurdle in 2014 when they lost the final to Germany in heartbreaking fashion at the Maracana Stadium as Mario Gomez scored an injury-time winner.
When Messi steps onto the Lusail Stadium on Tuesday (November 22) for Argentina’s opening clash of the tournament against Saudi Arabia, he will achieve a significant milestone as he will become the first player from his country in history to feature in five separate World Cups. Previously both Diego Maradona and Messi’s long-term national and club teammate Javier Mascherano featured in four world cups each. Maradona, the star of Argentina’s win in 1986 also featured in 1982 while helping his side reach the summit clash in 1990. He played two games in 1994 before he was called back after failing a drug test.
Mascherano was part of the Argentina team alongside Messi in 2006, 2010, 2014, and 2018. He was a key figure in midfield for the team and known to be among the team’s leaders for a long time. Mascherano never won an international trophy in his career despite playing three Copa America and One World Cup final.
Messi won the first international trophy of his career last year when Argentina lifted the Copa America in Brazil. This was the country’s first major title since 1993.