A second emotionally charged evening awaits Messi, the soccer-mad South American country who worships him when Argentina faces Poland on Wednesday. There is so much at stake.
Messs playing at the World Cup.i i Robert Lewandowski (Poland striker), who may also be too old for the next soccer tournament in 2026.
The World Cup in general. Because Messi, one of the greatest players in the game, is expected to be there at the end of a tournament that’s heating up so well.
Multiple scenarios are possible for the Group C final. A win for Argentina and they will be the group winners. Draw and they could finish second behind Poland, or get pushed out by Saudi Arabia or Mexico who are competing in a concurrent match.
A loss? Argentinians are not likely to think about that. The team would be humiliated and not just eliminated. Messi may never again be seen wearing the Albiceleste’s sky-blue-and-white jersey.
This scenario is too difficult for Argentina fans. This is why fans were moved to tears by Messi’s crucial second-half goal that set Argentina on its path to a win over Mexico.
This victory means that Argentina has bounced back after its shock 2-1 loss against Saudi Arabia in the opening match. Now, it is fighting to avoid its first group-stage exit since 2002.
Messi said, “Now another World Cup has started.” He will be hoping to score for the third consecutive match at this World Cup. Messi has scored 13 goals for Argentina in 2022, a record-breaking haul for a single calendar year.
Concerns over Messi’s health have plagued the seven-time World Cup player of the Year. He started training alone two days before Argentina’s first game. After turning his ankle late, Messi was unable to play the entire 90 minutes against Saudi Arabia. He also played in Mexico’s game.
Later, Messi confirmed that it wasn’t serious. It only increases the concerns about the physical well-being of a 35 year-old player, who clearly paces himself during matches and picks his moments to explode into full life.
He has still scored in both the team’s games, and is used to winning big moments for Argentina.
Czeslaw Michniewicz, Poland coach, said that “It’s an amazing question — how can you stop Lionel Messi?” “All of the world has been wondering about it for years… “I don’t believe we’ll ever discover the ultimate answer.”
Lionel Scaloni, Argentina’s coach, must make a decision about whether Lautaro Martinez will be retained, as he has been well covered in both the first two games. Or whether he will replace him with Julian Alvarez, another striker. Enzo Fernandez, a highly-rated young midfielder, was able to make his way into the team following a scoreless substitute performance against Mexico. Scaloni will pick the fullback position after Scaloni has played different left back and right back in all of Argentina’s games.
After scoring a goal in Saturday’s 2-0 victory over Saudi Arabia, Lewandowski, 34, has lost some weight. He now wants to move beyond the group stage and compete at the World Cup for the first-time. Since 1986, Poland has not done this since.
Scaloni asked Lewandowski, “Is he as good as Messi?” “You have to just enjoy such a great player — why do we compare one player to another? It is not helpful.”
Argentina’s fans will be cautious about Lewandowski’s threat, who is considered to be the best striker in the entire world by Karim Benzema of France.
They will know that Messi is an even greater icon, and that he continues to bend soccer games to suit his will, even as he reaches the end of his remarkable career.