We are just under three years away from the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar and in this article, we predict if Lionel Messi, one of the best players not only of his generation but in history, will take part in it.
Lionel Messi will end 2019 with 50 goals after FC Barcelona routed Alavés 4-1 on December 21. Luis Suárez, Antoine Griezmann and Arturo Vidal also scored as Barça won comfortably.
This is the sixth straight time that Messi closes the year with 50 goals for club and country. Overall is the ninth time that Messi finishes with at least 50 goals overall for club and country. Of the 50 goals, 45 of them were for FC Barcelona and five for Argentina. He has reached the mark every year since 2010. The exception was 2013 when he had 45. His highest mark was 91 goals in 2012.
Messi also ends the year as La Liga’s top scorer with 13 goals, one more than Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema. He played better than anyone this year, making the extraordinary seem ordinary. His opponents acknowledge this, a perfect example was when Barça beat Real Betis 4-1 for La Liga on March 17. That day, Real Betis fans at Benito Villamarín Stadium gave Messi a standing ovation.
You could even hear a roar when Messi nutmegged a Betis player. “There’s not much you can do against Messi,” Betis striker Loren Morón said.
“You have to plan for him,” Betis assistant manager Eder Sarabia said. “In our case, the first part was to have the ball and press high,” he added. “You want Messi as far from your area and the ball as possible. It’s not just going past people, finishing; he’s also the best assist provider in the world. He’s the best of all-time and virtually every time. It’s incredible. It’s not only what he does, it’s what he’s thinking beforehand, how he is positioned, how he understands the play, makes others better.”
Sarabia concluded saying: “On those days when you can’t stop him – and there are a lot of them – all you can do is admire him. The words that come out your mouth when he scores can’t be printed in the paper, but while you’re pissed off afterwards, you know it’s a privilege to compete with him. Like Pau, all of us will tell the story one day; our entire lives, we’ll ‘boast’ about playing him. We’ll say: ‘We tried to stop him’ … and most of the time we couldn’t.”
SBR Odds have Argentina at between +900 to +1250 soccer odds to win the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar. Will Messi make it?
“Thank you to my colleagues from my club. It’s really amazing. Thank you so much. To the journalists and my colleagues with whom I win and lose, I remember my first Ballon d’Or in Paris, when I arrived with my brothers, now I pick up the sixth, and this was absolutely unthinkable.
I never stopped dreaming and enjoying football like when I was a child. I hope I have more years to enjoy, although I am aware of how old I am, everything happens very quickly and I know that the moment of withdrawal is approaching.”
Still, I really hope Messi can have a chance to go after his first World Cup win. I think he will play the 2022 FIFA World Cup and retire once the 2021-22 La Liga season ends. It’s too early to know which teams will be in the tournament and which players will be on their rosters, there are always surprises and soccer’s next big may appear between now and then but you can safely say that the usual suspects will be involved in the hunt for the biggest trophy in international soccer. France, Germany, Brazil, Argentina, Spain, to name a few. If Messi can go at this current level you have to like Argentina’s chances to at least go far. For now, we can just wait…