Messi says ‘I am feeling really good and strong enough’ despite injury scare  

Lionel Messi Argentina

Lionel Messi has declared that he is enjoying his time in Qatar after leading Argentina to the final.

The PSG man was at his mesmeric best on Tuesday as Argentina beat Croatia 3-0 in the semi-final to book their place in their sixth World Cup final. Messi opened the scoring from the penalty spot before assisting Julian Alvarez to seal the win late in the game. 

Messi appeared to tweak a hamstring early on in the game, but after the game, he assured his fans that he is strong and enjoying himself.

Speaking to the press after receiving the man of the match award, Messi said: “I am enjoying this World Cup a lot. I am feeling really good and strong enough to face anything.

“It wasn’t easy. We were tired, but we found our strength to earn the victory. We finished the game in a very good way and I feel very happy now.

“This squad goes beyond the collective. It’s intelligent and clever. We can read games and we know how to suffer when necessary and what to do with the ball when it’s needed. We have played excellent technical football.

Messi also praised the Argentina coaching staff, highlighting their ability to pay attention to detail. 

“We have a very good coaching staff that leaves nothing to chance, that lets you know every detail of every match and that is a great help for us,” he added.

“At no time did we feel lost on the pitch. We know what we have to do in every game. We knew the match was going to be this way. Croatia has a lot of possession, but we also knew that it could be a strength of ours when we recovered. They are very messy and leave a lot of spaces.” 

Messi also praised his side for how they managed the game and their mental strength that has seen them return from their opening-day loss to Saudi Arabia. 

“We know what to do in every moment of the game,’ added Messi. ‘We know how to win. We knew we would have to run. We knew their strengths. We knew they would have possession.

“The first game when we lost to Saudi Arabia was hard for us because we had been unbeaten for so long. It was such a hard blow.

“To come back has proved how strong we are. It’s been difficult as every game has felt like a final. That’s been a heavy mental load. We have played and won five finals and I hope it’s the same in the last game. We were confident we would make it as we understand the fine details. We have grown a lot in this tournament.”

35, Messi is nearing the end of the road in his illustrious career. Many of his fans consider this his last World Cup and the five-time Ballon d’Or winner seemed to confirm that.

Speaking to Spanish publication MARCA, the Argentina captain confirmed Sunday’s game will probably be his last World Cup game. 

“I am proud to be able to finish my World Cup journey playing this final,” Messi said. 

“What I’m experiencing is exciting. Surely Sunday will be my last game in a World Cup.

“It will be many years before the next one (2026) and I don’t think I’ll be able to make it. So I hope I can finish in the best way.”

Messi has scored five goals and provided three assists so far at this World Cup.