Lionel Messi Julian Alvarez Dec 13, 2022; Lusail, Qatar; Argentina forward Julian Alvarez (9) celebrates with forward Lionel Messi (10) after scoring a goal against Croatia during the second half of a semifinal match during the 2022 World Cup at Lusail Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Yukihito Taguchi-USA TODAY Sports

Eight years ago, Argentina fell to Germany in the 2014 FIFA World Cup final. Now, Argentina and Lionel Messi will have another shot at experiencing soccer immortality.

Argentina took care of business rather definitively as they went out to a 2-0 lead at halftime and then added a third for good measure in the second half to eliminate the 2018 World Cup finalist Croatia 3-0. The forward duo of Messi and Julián Álvarez were especially on it as the two contributed to all three goals.

The first was due to a penalty from Croatia goalkeeper Dominik Livaković. Álvarez had a 1v1 and after a weak chip, was fouled by Livaković, resulting in a Messi penalty conversion.

Then Álvarez doubled Argentina’s lead with an individual effort that started at midfield which needed a couple of bounces off Croatian defenders to go his way.

The third was a combination of Messi and Álvarez. Messi pulled off the skills to get toward goal and pass to Álvarez for the tap-in. At 3-0, that essentially sealed the deal for Argentina, and they are off to their sixth World Cup final.

Along with Argentina going to their sixth World Cup final, this will be Messi’s sixth final as an Argentina player. With one Copa América under his belt, Messi doesn’t have much success in finals, but at the same time, he’s got a chance to win one of each before his international career ends. The soccer world was buzzing about that, plus Argentina going to the final.

“Leo Messi, that well-known failure at international level, is on his way to his sixth final with Argentina.” -@sidlowe


“Just watched another Messi show tonight. What a performance! Congrats Argentina. Let’s see who will complete the final on Sunday. Good night everyone.” -@BSchweinsteiger


“If Argentina wins the World Cup, the Messi vs Ronaldo debate would be over.” -@KSI


“One last dance for Lionel Messi’s Argentina, then.” -@YesWeCrann


“He’s really taking Argentina to the World Cup Final at 35 years old. What a ridiculous player.” -@_Zeets


“Julián Álvarez wins the penalty for Argentina and scores probably the goal of the World Cup. Lionel Messi unplayable after the first goal. Rodrigo De Paul has been everywhere, Nahuel Molina making the runs and seeing a lot of the ball. Solid by Argentina.” -@RoyNemer


Argentina will face the winner of France and Morocco in the 2022 FIFA World Cup final on Sunday.

About Phillip Bupp

Producer/editor of the Awful Announcing Podcast and Short and to the Point. News editor for The Comeback and Awful Announcing. Highlight consultant for Major League Soccer as well as a freelance writer for hire. Opinions are my own but feel free to agree with them.

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