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'Golden Ball' Messi's first World Cup victory, 'No. 1 contributor' Di Maria [World Cup Pick]


The final between Argentina and France was truly the best match ever. France's Mbappe scored a hat-trick, and Messi also grinned at his final World Cup, scoring two goals and scoring his all-time most offensive points.

The final between Argentina and France was truly the best match ever. 

France's Mbappe scored a hat-trick, and Messi also grinned at his final World Cup, scoring two goals and scoring his all-time most offensive points.

On this day, Angel Di Maria (34, Juventus) was the 'first class contributor' who most dramatically and decisively helped Lionel Messi (35, Paris Saint-Germain) win the first World Cup in his life. 

Argentina won the 2022 Qatar World Cup final against France at 0:00 am (Korean time) on the 19th at Lusail Stadium in Qatar by winning 4-2 in the penalty shootout after facing 3-3 overtime. 

With this, Argentina won the World Cup for the first time in 36 years, following the 1978 tournament held in their country and the 1986 Mexico tournament where the late Diego Maradona played an active part, and won the third championship in his career. 

Beyond Messi's performance on this day, the hidden protagonist who led Argentina to victory was 'Di Maria', who played as a starter. 

Argentina's main striker, Di María, suffered a thigh injury during the tournament, and was eventually pushed out of the competition amid controversy. 

The round of 16 against Australia and the quarterfinals against Croatia were all finished with only the bench, and the quarterfinal against the Netherlands was barely put in in the 7th minute of extra time. 

However, in the final match on this day, coach Lionel Scaloni (44, Argentina) used the anomaly of placing Di Maria, who usually plays as a right winger, as a starter on the left flank. 

As a result, this 'trump card' played a decisive role in breaking down the French defense. 

From the beginning of the final match, Di Maria created sharp chances with nimble movements by breaking through the left flank, and played a big role until he was substituted out in the 19th minute of the second half.

In the 21st minute of the first half, Di Maria, who was digging into the left side of the penalty box, tripped over France's Ousmane Dembele (Barcelona) and induced a penalty kick, which Messi calmly finished with his left foot to score the opening goal.  

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▲ Di Maria celebrating Messi's opening goal together

It didn't stop there, and in the course of Argentina's smooth counterattack in the 36th minute of the first half, Di María dug into the opponent's half with explosive speed, received a pass from Alexis Markalister (Brighton) and shook the net with a left-footed shot directly.

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▲ Di Maria is delighted with her second goal

Then, in the 35th minute of the second half, France's Kylian Mbappe (Paris Saint-Germain)'s hat-trick turned the game around and the heart was strained, but Argentina finally beat France in the penalty shootout and enjoyed the thrill of winning.

At the center of it, two veterans shone: Di Maria and multi-goal Messi.

Di Maria also contributed to Messi's 'winning spree' last year.

In the 2021 Copa America (South American Football Championship) final against Brazil held in July last year, Argentina won 1-0 thanks to Di Maria's winning goal, winning the championship for the first time in 28 years since the 1993 tournament. 

At the time, winning the Copa America was Messi's first national team victory in a major tournament.

It was the moment when Messi's old grudge, who had never won the four World Cups and the five Copa Americas, wearing an Argentine uniform before that time was lifted.

The two also shared a gold medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

In the final against Nigeria, the duo started and won 1-0 with Di María's winning goal to win Olympic gold.

The official SNS of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Olympic Games said that Di Maria and Messi are the only players who have won both the Olympics and the World Cup in the last 80 years. 

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This World Cup was called the 'last dance' for Messi and Di Maria, who were in their mid-30s.

Messi, who has been active as a national team since 2005 and has no World Cup trophy, finally kissed the trophy in his last World Cup game and won the Golden Ball for the best player in the tournament, winning the title 'GOAT' (The Greatest Of All Time) ) has risen to the ranks.

Likewise, Di Maria, who started playing for the national team in 2008 and played a total of four World Cups, also finished a splendid last dance with Messi in his last match wearing an Argentina uniform.

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▲ Messi and Di Maria holding the trophy and enjoying the joy of victory

(Photo = AP/Yonhap News, @Olympics Twitter)

Source: sbskr

All news articles on 2022-12-19

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