Paris Saint-Germain’s Lionel Messi is a man on a mission to end his international career by winning the 2022 FIFA World Cup and have that storybook ending.
The 35-year-old’s mentality is noticeable to Inter Milan legend and fellow countryman Javier Zanetti, saying that Messi is “more of a leader than ever” as Argentina finds itself in the semifinals against Croatia.
“Messi has always given great things to the Argentine fans since he started playing. He is our captain, our leader, our benchmark. He deserves everything he is experiencing,” Zanetti said (h/t Marca).
“Argentina has a great personality; they believe in what they are doing. It is a job that went from minor to major and today, they are a few days away from a great semifinal against Croatia, which can lead them to make history.”
Messi had to show his leadership early in the tournament when Argentina was punched in the mouth after losing 2-1 to Saudi Arabia, complicating their qualification to the knockout stage.
Argentina bounced back by winning their last two group stage matches to win Group C. The CONMEBOL side has suffered in the knockout stage advancing but putting a scare into their supporters.
With Messi at the helm, the veteran forward has appeared on the score sheet against Australia and the Netherlands, so it won’t be surprising to see him have an impact against Croatia.