Lionel Messi declared wrong by Argentina team-mates ahead of France World Cup final | Football | Sport


Lionel Messi’s team-mates believe the Argentina legend is wrong to declare Sunday night’s final will be his last ever game at the World Cup. The 35-year–old PSG star has made it clear that it is now-or-never in his bid to crown his incredible career with the biggest winner’s medal of all.

But goalkeeper Emi Martinez is convinced that, ability-wise, there could be plenty more years left in the tank yet, even at the highest level.

“For me he can play until he is 50,” the Aston Villa goalkeeper told “He looks really sharp and he looks so good. He makes things look easy – it’s the hardest thing to do. To understand how well he hits the ball is something.

“That left foot. He is small, but so strong. He looks at you and hits the ball top corner. If he misses – he hits the post or crossbar.”

Tottenham defender Cristian Romero also said recently: “I hope this is not his last World Cup. This issue always comes up and we say we are going to ask him not to step down. It makes us very happy to have him as a partner and to have him play with us.”

Meanwhile, France manager Didier Deschamps has ordered his own players to pause and let everything sink in ahead of the final.

“We are going to take our time,” he said. “I said this to my players and staff – take every moment to really appreciate and savour the moment. In four days we are going to play for a world title. We’ll enjoy it now and get ready for the last match of this World Cup. It’s been a month we’re together with the players.

“It’s never easy, but now we are going to go after the title on Sunday.”

As if that were not enough, the final will also decide the destination of the Golden Boot.

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