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‘Hat-trick runner-up’ Mbappe, he was the true opponent of Messi

Lionel Messi (35) eventually won the World Cup trophy. But it has never been an easy journey. In particular, Kylian Mbappe (24) blocked Messi’s way to the end.

Argentina won 4-2 in a penalty shoot-out after a 3-3 match against France in the 2022 FIFA World Cup final match held at Lusail Stadium in Aldayen, Qatar at 0:00 on the 19th (hereafter Korean time). and won the championship. It was his third World Cup victory.

Messi lifted the dream World Cup trophy. He also won the World Cup Golden Ball for the second time. He has won the Ballon d’Or seven times, won the World Cup, and won the World Cup Golden Ball twice.

In the meantime, Messi has not won the World Cup, so controversy has often arisen that he cannot outperform Pele and Diego Maradona, who won the World Cup trophy. However, by winning the World Cup in Qatar, it has established itself as a true ‘GOAT (Greatest Of All Time)’.

Cristiano Ronaldo (37) is the player who competed as a rival for the longest time on Messi’s journey. Messi and Ronaldo have shared the Ballon d’Or 5 times from 2008 to 2017. It divided the world football world into two halves.

However, it was Mbappe who blocked the World Cup trophy, which was pointed out as a weakness during Messi’s career, and almost stopped it again. Messi, who finished runner-up at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, tried to win the 2018 World Cup in Russia, but was defeated by France in the round of 16.

At the time, Mbappe scored multiple goals at the age of 20, and France beat Messi’s Argentina 4-3. And Mbappe’s France lifted the Russian World Cup trophy.

This time, it was Mbappe who harassed Messi’s victory to the end. Argentina scored two goals in the first half to take a two-point lead and took a step closer to the championship, but Mbappe quickly equalized with a penalty kick in the 35th minute of the second half and a right-footed volley shot goal in the 36th minute of the second half. Messi lost his smile from this point on, and some players in Argentina burst into tears on the bench.

Messi overturned the difficult situation caused by Mbappe with a right-footed goal in the third minute of the second half of extra time. This time, it really seemed like the World Cup trophy was in hand. However, Mbappe scored a penalty kick in the 13th minute of the second half of extra time to balance the score 3-3 again.

Mbappe’s performance did not end here. He took the first penalty kick and scored the first goal through goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez’s fingertips. It drove Messi into a corner until the end.

If Mbappe won the World Cup for the second time in a row, Messi could not win the World Cup, and the ‘GOAT’ controversy could have been maintained for a long time. And Mbappe, who won two consecutive World Cup titles and won the top scorer at the Qatar World Cup, was able to emerge as the next-generation ‘GOAT’ challenger.

But Messi overcame it to the end. Argentina’s first kicker, Messi, endured the pressure and scored an equalizer, and Martinez’s save made Argentina turn the tide of the battle.

In the end, Messi won the World Cup trophy after a lot of hard work. The best rival who stopped this championship until the end and instilled tension was Mbappe, who won the Golden Boot by becoming the top scorer at the World Cup in Qatar. Thanks to Mbappe, the ‘best opponent’, Messi’s victory could shine even more.