It’s not hard to argue that Lionel Messi is one of the greatest soccer stars of all time. However, it seems that his World Cup win with Argentina has cemented his GOAT (Greatest of All Time) status. The only thing stopping Messi from reaching this title previously was his constant battle with almost-as-great soccer star Christiano Ronaldo and Messi’s lack of a World Cup title. Ronaldo did not (and still does not) have that World Cup title either, thus putting them on roughly even standing going into this World Cup. Once Messi and Argentina prevailed, that seemed to pull him ahead of Ronaldo in this career-long race and most likely cement him there as Ronaldo and Messi will probably retire before the next World Cup. This was their final major battle, and Messi won, but how did Messi do it?
Messi is objectively the greatest player on the Argentina National team, but he is not the only player. That was the most important piece that the national team took with them, how to build a squad that could help Messi around him. They chose players for the team that could support and assist Messi in ways that others could not. The team elevated Messi and brought out his best skills and attributes. Players were chosen because they were able to assist Messi, not solely because they were great players on their own (which all of them were). This team proved that working to elevate each other seems to be the most important, vital missing piece that allows a team to achieve the ultimate goal. Not only was Messi’s long-time dream achieved, but the dream of every member of that team was achieved as well.
Messi has long been hailed as one of the greatest soccer stars of all time and no doubt the greatest of a generation (unless you are a Ronaldo fan). Messi has won every major trophy and the only one missing from his cabinet was the elusive World Cup trophy. What guaranteed Messi this final, pivotal win, was his ability to work well with those who could help him. Messi may have been the most talented person on that team, but he was able to acknowledge that he was not the only person on the pitch, which is what ultimately solidified his GOAT status.