Lionel Messi confirmed on Tuesday that he will play his last World Cup match when Argentina faces the winners of France and Morocco in the final next Sunday in Qatar.

Messi led Argentina to a 3-0 victory over Croatia in the semi-finals last night and he will play his 172nd international match in an attempt to win his country’s first world title since 1986.

The leader of the “tango dancers” told the Argentine newspaper “Diario Deportivo Ole”: “I am very happy that I was able to achieve this and complete my journey at the World Championships by playing my last match in the final.”

Messi added: “Many years have passed and I don’t think I can do it. Ending my World Cup career this way is the best thing for me.”

He continued: “Everything is good and the records are good, but it is important to be able to reach the goal of the team, which is the most beautiful thing in the world. We are one step away from a tough fight and we will do our best to try and win the title this time.”

The 35-year-old is participating in the World Cup for the fifth time, four times ahead of Diego Maradona and Javier Mascherano.

With his fifth goal in Qatar, he also surpassed Gabriel Batistuta as Argentina’s top scorer in the World Cup final with 11 goals.

France will face Morocco in the second semi-final match today, Wednesday, at 10:00 Moscow time.

Source: “Wakalat”

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Chang Michel is a sports reporter for 24PalNews. He has also covered sports for TV and radio in Miami, Newark, and Atlanta. Chang, a native of Queens, NY, graduated from Georgetown University with a degree in international affairs and French.

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