Lionel Messi will begin his fifth World Cup tomorrow and will become the Argentine footballer with the most editions played, but that will not be the only record that he will be able to achieve during the event in Qatar.
Messi’s history in the World Cup began in Germany 2006 when he was 18 years old, then he was in South Africa 2010, Brazil 2014, Russia 2018 and tomorrow he will start his journey in Qatar 2022. In this way, the 35-year-old Argentine star will be above Diego Armando Maradona (1982, 1986, 1990 and 1994) and Javier Mascherano (2006, 2010, 2014 and 2018).
But, true to his style, Messi will be able to reach and even surpass other historical records during the first World Cup in the Middle East and here we review them one by one.
The captain of the team clarified that his differentiated task in that session was “as a precaution” due to a blow and stated that he has “no problem”, without giving importance to the images captured today in practice that showed his swollen right ankle.
At 35, Messi reiterated that Qatar 2022 “it will surely be the last World Cup” on a personal level, which is why he showed himself with the renewed illusion of achieving the title that is missing in his career.
“It’s the last chance I have and it would be nice to get what we all want”he recognized with the illusion of crowning in the final on December 18 in Lusail.
On a collective level, the captain considered that the current group of the selected team “reminds him of 2014” in Brazil, which lost the decisive match against Germany at the Maracana stadium. “That group was very united and was clear about what they wanted on the field like this,” he compared hours after the debut with Saudi Arabia for the first date of Group C.
Argentina arrives at Qatar 2022 as South American champion and winner of the Finalissima against Italy, two titles that buried the dark stage of 28 years without titles. “We come from winning and that decompresses a lot, allows us to work in a different way and makes people not be so anxious, so aware of the results,” he accepted.
“Now we hope to continue doing what we have been doing with this group, growing game after game. Personally, I feel very excited, excited about this new World Cup.”
The Argentine will join the select group of footballers with five editions, which include the Mexicans Antonio Carabajal and Rafael Márquez, the German Lottar Matthäus and the Italian Gianluigi Buffon and to which the Aztecs Guillermo Ochoa and Andrés Guardado and the Portuguese Cristiano Ronaldo will also be added. .
Messi thanked “the affection received in all parts of the world” when he was asked about foreign wishes that Argentina win the crown to see him lift the cup. “It’s something beautiful,” he appreciated.
Relaxed and with a good countenance, the Argentine told some 200 reporters present in the conference room of the Doha Press Center that he lives this “different” World Cup due to the experience acquired over the years.
“It grabs me more mature, I try to enjoy everything to the fullest, to live it with great intensity. I don’t know if it’s the happiest moment of my career, but I feel very good. Today I enjoy all this much more, I didn’t think so before. Sometimes many things that happened to me went unnoticed and today I am more aware,” he replied.
However, he clarified that his preparation was not different from the previous ones: “I did not do anything special, I took care of myself and worked as I did throughout my career.”
“This is a different moment in the season, with many fewer games. I feel comfortable, I’ve got a rhythm and that’s what I’ve tried to do until now,” he explained about how he faced the final stretch towards the World Cup.
“Tomorrow we expect a difficult match because of what the start of the World Cup means. For many of this group it will be the start of the World Cup and they have to enjoy it”he advised.
Argentina will face Saudi Arabia this Tuesday from 7:00 p.m. (1:00 p.m. local time) at the Lusail stadium, for the first date of Group C, which will complete on Saturday the 26th against Mexico, in the same setting, and on Wednesday the 30th against Poland in stadium 974.