Lionel Messi confirms Qatar final will be his final World Cup match
Lionel Messi will play in the World Cup final after Argentina's 3-0 victory over Croatia and in a post-match interview, one journalist had some touching words for the footballer.
The 35-year-old was awarded Man of the Match for scoring a penalty in the 34th minute while displaying his insane skills to provide an assist in the 69th minute for Julián Álvarez who also scored earlier on (39th minute).
Sofia Martinez, a reporter from Television Publica reassured Messi - who has announced the final will be his last World Cup match - that no matter what the result is when Argentina face reigning champions France on December 18, he will remain a legend in his home country.
"The last thing I want to tell you and it's not a question, but I just wanted to say the World Cup final is coming and sure, we all [Argentinians] want to win the cup," she told the football star.
"I just want to tell you that no matter the results, there's something that no one can take from you, and it's the fact you resonated with Argentinians, every single one. I'm being serious.
"There’s no kid who doesn’t have your shirt, no matter if it’s fake, real or a homemade one. Truly you made your mark in everyone’s life and that to me is beyond winning any World Cup. No one else can take that from you and this is my gratitude, for such happiness you bring to a lot of people.
Martinez added: "I seriously hope you take those words into your heart because I really believe that's more important than winning a World Cup and you already have it. So thank you, captain."
Clearly moved by the journalist's kind words, Messi smiled and emotionally replied: “I have felt the love of the people. It is no longer only the result but the road we have traveled. Before in Argentina, it was valued to win or lose, but I think people now value other things.
Later on, Messi told Argentine media outlet Diario Deportivo Ole that he will play his last World Cup game on Sunday (December 18) after playing in five tournaments during his career.
"I am very happy for finishing my journey in World Cups in a final, to play the last game in a final. That is really very gratifying," he said, as per Reuters.
"Everything I lived in this World Cup has been emotional, seeing how much it has been enjoyed in Argentina. There are a lot of years from this year to the next one. I don't think I will be able to do that. To finish this way is brilliant.
"We are going to do our best, as we have done up until now, so that this time it really happens - we really win it."
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