Lionel Messi has one more chance at scripting history, and once and for all removing all doubts about him being the greatest to ever lace up a pair of football boots. His stellar performance against Croatia in the FIFA World Cup 2022 semi-final has helped Argentina reach the final of the tournament eight years after a Mario Gotze goal stopped Diego Maradona’s successor from laying his hands on football’s ultimate prize.
In the semi-final, Messi scored one goal from the penalty spot and assisted Julian Alvarez, who had already netted in a brilliant solo goal, to score Argentina’s third goal of the match and seal their spot in the final.
Lionel Messi’s performance and his impact on the match can easily be understood by the statistics. According to Statman Dave, Messi had a pass accuracy of 85% in the match, 63 touches, and won six ground duels.
The PSG forward has also managed to complete five of the seven dribbles he attempted in the match, and two out of his three long-ball attempts. Messi went on to provide two key passes.
Messi, along with Croatia captain Luka Modric, have once again proved that age is just a number. Modric himself has had a stellar game at the age of 37 despite being on the losing side.
When it comes to his statistics, Statman Dave reports that Modric had a pass accuracy of 87% in the match, completing 67 passes in the process. He had a total of 92 touches, completed all of his three attempted dribbles, and provided a total of two key passes in the match.
While at the age of 37 Cristiano Ronaldo is finding it hard to get back into his regular groove, Modric at the same age has turned out to be one of the best performers in this competition.
The warm embrace shared between the two LM10s in the match remains as one of the lasting pictures of this World Cup that will get etched into the annals of its history.