Monday, 6 February, 2023
E-paper

Messi echoes Maradona

Lionel Messi saved his best for last on Sunday, bringing the curtain down on his World Cup career by finally landing the one major title that has eluded him. In the end, the greatest player of his generation, possibly of all time, bowed out with victory in arguably the greatest World Cup final of them all. It was a perfectly scripted farewell for the 35-year-old Argentine captain, playing in what he has said will be his fifth and final World Cup tournament. Messi was a beacon of calm amid frequent outbreaks of pandemonium at the Lusail Stadium as Argentina twice squandered winning positions, eventually taking the title on penalties after the game finished 3-3 in extra-time. Maradona had also inspired that 1986 win, helping Argentina recover after they gave up a 2-0 lead before defeating West Germany 3-2.