- All-time great finally has a global crown
- Inspired victory at Qatar 2022
- Considered to be the greatest of all-time
WHAT HAPPENED? The Albiceleste were able to deliver a long-awaited global crown for their talismanic captain in Qatar, with Lionel Scaloni’s side just about holding their nerve to win on penalties after 120 minutes of thrilling action had delivered a 3-3 draw. Kylian Mbappe netted a hat-trick for France, but his Paris Saint-Germain team-mate Messi grabbed two goals of his own – while also scoring in the shootout – and it is he that has been credited with swinging a classic encounter in favour of South American victors.
WHAT THEY SAID: Mac Allister told ITV Sport afterwards when asked what the difference between success and failure had been: "It is always Messi, it is always Messi. He is fantastic. I cannot explain in words what I am feeling now, I think this team gave everything on the pitch so I'm really happy for the result."
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Brighton midfielder Mac Allister went on to say of a colleague that appears to have settled football’s GOAT debate: "I think he is the best player in the world, the best player of all time. He is amazing, he is a really nice guy, he is humble so he has everything to be the best player in history so it is amazing to share a dressing room with him and I'm very grateful."
IN THREE PHOTOS:Getty
WHAT NEXT? Messi made more history at Qatar 2022 – netting in every knockout round of the competition and claiming a second Golden Ball – and there will be more international heroics from him to come as the legendary 35-year-old has vowed to play on and add to the 172 caps and 98 goals that he already boasts for his country.