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2022 World Cup final: Mbappe stands between Messi and immortality



Eight years ago, on the pitch of the Maracana Stadium in Brazil, Messi watched on as Germany celebrated winning the World Cup trophy against them.

There’s nothing he didn’t do to get his hands on the trophy. He put up a typically sensational performance where he did everything but score. Gonzalo Higuain seemed to be on a personal mission to let his country down, squandering several chances Messi created.

In 2018, Albiceleste were blown away by France at the quarter-final stage.

This year, they meet again. In the final. For the biggest prize in football.

When Messi leads Argentina out on Sunday, he will come face to face with a familiar face standing in his way. Paris Saint-Germain team-mate Kylian Mbappe.

Mbappe was again the thrusting force, as France saw off Morocco in the semi-finals.

Both players have five goals to their name, so there will be a silent tussle for the Golden Boot and Golden Ball.

“Definitely, there is an Mbappé-Messi angle,” Clinton McDubus, a top football analyst and podcaster, tells DAILY POST.

“A second World Cup means Mbappé will be one short of equalling Pelé’s 3 wins, at 23.

“That means he becomes an all-timer and could potentially match both Messi & Pelé for career accomplishments if he can keep up a certain level for the next decade. And we already know what’s at stake for Messi.

“Beyond that, both are competing for the Golden Boot, The Golden Ball and the Ballon d’Or. It’s a straight shootout between two players competing for everything, who could also end the season winning it all as teammates.

“This is the one game that will separate them for all the possible awards. A legend on his last dance vs a young man with so much ahead to accomplish.

“The winner takes it all. It’s the exact scenario that people hoped we would see in the Champions League and World Cup finals with Messi vs Ronaldo. Where it would come down to who won. Happened in 2009 but never happened with Ronaldo at Madrid and Messi at Barcelona. This is the closest thing to that scenario we will see for a long time,” he added.

McDubus also agrees the much debated Greatest of All Time (GOAT) status will be bestowed on Messi if he leads Argentina to World Cup glory.

“I believe for many people, Messi winning it means he finally ticks all boxes and so it becomes hard to argue against him.

“There would be no argument for why he can’t be seen as the GOAT

“However, Pelé did win 3 World Cups (which is impossible to match). Looks like Messi winning it will ensure the debate becomes about just him and Pelé, as there would be nothing Maradona would have over him anymore. And so the argument will then become about preference. Both Pelé and Maradona have feats that may never be equalled or bettered,” he stated.

2022 World Cup final: Mbappe stands between Messi and immortality

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