The Messi of before, that playstation player that we still haven’t gotten out of our heads, probably would have finished that play himself, dribbling rivals in the race. But this Messi, with less speed but wiser, ended it with a beautiful assist for Nahuel Molina to fulfill his most utopian dream: scoring a goal for Argentina, after a pass from his idol, and in the quarterfinals of a World Cup. And then with a penalty goal to make it 2-0 momentarily against the Netherlands and ensure qualification for the Qatar 2022 semifinals. Regular time ended 2-2 and for penalties they also had height to define with class.
The Albiceleste beat the Netherlands on penalties for the quarterfinals of the Qatar 2022 World Cup. A result against the team that only conceded two goals in four passes that can be explained by Messi. Without him, the score might have been blank and the thousands of fans in the Lusail Stadium would not have ripped their throats out screaming the Argentinian goal.
At minute 35, when the Netherlands looked good in their own half while Argentina rotated the ball, Lionel received a pass and drew a huge play on the right, clearing the mark and finding a Nahuel Molina who was unmarked in speed and defined before the departure of Noppert to make it 1-0.
In the second half (73′), after a penalty set up by Marcos Acuña, La Pulga made it 2-0 with a perfectly executed penalty. “Surely I can save him a penalty,” Noppert said before the match. But when it came down to it, he only saw how the ball entered on his left side. With his goal, Leo reached ten goals in the World Cups and equaled Gabriel Omar Batistuta as the Argentine with the most celebrations in the history of the tournament.
He may not be the brightest Messi in the Albiceleste, but he is the most complete. Without an explosion, only he, the best player of this era -by far, the one in history-, is capable of reinventing himself over time so as not to stop influencing the result. He can score great goals like against Mexico or Australia, but he also knows how to assist like now.
“I don’t know if he is the most decisive, but he is the best Messi, the most complete since he began his career. He has more assists, more free throws. He has improved a lot in his way of seeing and understanding the game, “Diego Markic, captain of the Argentine Under 20 team that won the World Cup in Malaysia in 1997, had told us, today Rodolfo Arruabarrena’s technical assistant in the national team. from United Arab Emirates.
Messi, an assist and close to a world record
Lionel has four goals and two assists in the Qatar 2022 World Cup. Only Poland, on the last date of Group C, did not suffer: goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny saved him an incredible penalty.
The numbers that Leo is having in Qatar are putting him at the top of the story. With his goal pass, he became the second player with the most assists in the World Cup with seven assists. is one of Diego Maradona, who took the captaincy record against the Netherlands.
Below we detail the five players with the most assists in the World Cups:
- Diego Armando Maradona: 8 assists: World champion in Mexico 86, Diego Armando also became the top assister in the World Cups with 8 assists in the four World Cups he played. Five of his assists were in Mexico 86, but the most remembered was the one he gave to Claudio Caniggia for the round of 16 of the Italy 90 World Cup against Brazil.
- Lionel Messi – 7 assists. Leo is still in the race in Qatar ready to lift the Cup that is so demanded of him. Only in this World Cup he has two goal passes. In 2018 he did another two, in 2014, 2010 and 2006 he did one each.
- Pierre Littbarski: 7 assists: The next on the list of players with the most assists in World Cups is Pierre Littbarski, former footballer of the German team. Considered the most dribbler born in the sister lands, throughout his career he gave seven goal passes with the difference that he did in three World Cups.
- Grzegorz Lato: 7 assists: The Polish Grzegorz Lato marked the history of the Polish national team and until now he has been one of the best players the national team has had in history. In his World Cup appearances, he was able to score 7 assists, equaling Pierre Littbarski.
- Thomas Muller: 6 assists: In fourth place we have the German Thomas Müller, the only player on this list who remains active with his team and with his participation in the Qatar 2022 World Cup, he could dethrone Diego Armando Maradona. We would not be surprised if he surpassed himself, since he has accumulated 6 assists so far.
- Francesco Totti: 6 assists: Last on the list of players with the most assists in World Cups, we have the Italian Francesco Totti “The King of Rome”, who was not only crowned champion with his team in the 2006 World Cup, he is also the top assister for Italy and the fifth in the world with a total of 6 goal passes in his World Cup history.
I have worked in the news industry for over 10 years. I have a keen interest in sports and have written for many different publications. I am currently working as an author at 24 News Recorder. I cover mostly sports news but also write about other topics such as current affairs and politics. I have a strong interest in social media and how it can be used to engage with audiences.