One of the things that keeps me from going insane is the beautiful game, football. I love football. It’s something so wonderful that I can’t express my love for it. It’s a game of teamwork and trust, focus and analysis, mind games and body language. I’ve been an avid football fan since 2016 or 2017. I wasn’t really into sports before that for some reason. But I think it was around that time when I really got into football. I remember watching football videos on YouTube and I was fascinated. At one point, I even wanted to be a pro player, but that notion needs to be kept aside for consideration. Anyway, after that in 2018 came my first FIFA WC. I didn’t watch the 2014 WC because obviously, I was kind of young. In the WC of ‘18, I watched a lot of matches. Most of them were at night, but I watched for as long as I could. One thing I remember well is during the inaugural game, Russia vs Saudi Arabia, I watched for some time and went to bed, then my dad woke me up and told me that Russia had scored 5 goals and I jumped from the bed and sat in front of the TV, watching in awe.
After that, I remember France vs Argentina. Of course, I rooted for Argentina, we’ll get into my love for the Argentine team later, it was a bummer that Argentina lost against France, but France’s Benjamin Pavard’s goal would forever be etched into my mind because it was a brilliant screamer, I’ve got to say. Then fast forward to the final, France vs Croatia. France ended up winning but it was incredible for Croatia to be the first runner ups in the tournament.
It was incredible for Kylian Mbappe, who rose to fame during the tournament, to win his first WC at the mere age of 19! Wonderful achievement from the young Frenchman.
Now, let’s skip to 2022 when my love for football flourished. It was a WC year! I had clearly known who I should root for with all my heart, Argentina. I love the country, I love the team and I love Lionel Messi, one of the best players to ever walk the Earth, if not the best, the God and the Goat of man’s most beautiful game. Truly one of a kind, Messi is a legendary player in the history of the game and of the world, playing like no other individual in the world ever can for the Argentine team and for the Spanish giant FC Barcelona, where Messi would leave after decades of being a wonderful player and a legend in the books of Spain and Barcelona. That was truly unfortunate, him leaving Barcelona, which I will get into as we move forward in this article. Right now, let’s stick to WC 2022.
I watched a lot of games during the tournament. And I absolutely loved it. I watched my favourite players fight for their country and at one point I was genuinely confused about which country to root during games. Argentina lost their first game against Saudi Arabia. They were humiliated and made fun of by other nations. That’s when they knew it was time for them to show no mercy. That was the only game they lost. And from there, it was a straight rush towards the final. And they did.
The final of the FIFA World Cup 2022 was incredible. It was the most stressful football match humanity might’ve ever seen. Argentina vs the 2018 winners, France. It was a song of fire and ice. It was a match everyone was eagerly witnessing. Argentina made it 2-0. But after that, Mbappe, the devil in the dark struck Argentina, scoring two goals. It was 2-2. But in the 108th minute, Argentina’s saviour scored, putting them in the lead. Messi became the Messiah. But Mbappe didn’t stay quiet. Mbappe did the impossible and scored again, making the game squared once again. The young lad of 23 scored a hat-trick in a WC final.
Then came the penalty shootouts. Fast forward a few pens, it was the penalty that would decide the outcome of the game, it would decide who were the champions of the world and who could hold the World Cup high and what could end the GOAT debate. Everything was in the legs of Gonzalo Montiel. Messi closed his eyes, his hands over his mates’ shoulders, and uttered the words while looking up at the sky “It could be today, Grandma.” Montiel didn’t disappoint, he scored the penalty. He did it. The 25-year-old lad did it. He sealed the throne to Argentina. Messi was on his knees now, the happiest he had ever been.
Lionel Messi is the Greatest of All Time. The God. The one of a kind. The best player on Earth did it. He has everything. Maradona would be jumping on the clouds in heaven with joy. He showed the world who he was. He shushed the haters. He added another crown to his already crowned head. He did it. Argentina did it. They made it 3. Their third World Cup.