Can Messi win the World Cup? Argentina route to Qatar 2022 final

Lionel Messi has competed at four World Cups so far in his career, and heads into Qatar 2022 hoping to add to Argentina’s two triumphs.

They came so close back in 2014, as they lost out to Germany in the final by a late, added-time winner from Mario Gotze.

With Argentina fresh off winning the Copa America, and their side currently on the longest unbeaten streak in international football, perhaps La Albiceleste are genuine contenders for the crown.

If they are to win for the first time since 1986, expect star man Messi to play an integral part, but can he lead his side to World Cup glory?

WORLD CUP DRAW BREAKDOWNS:
Group A | Group B | Group C | Group D
Group E | Group F | Group G | Group H

Argentina World Cup 2022 schedule

Group C match schedule

date match Time (ET) stage
Tues, Nov 22 Argentina vs S Arabia TBD TBD
Tues, Nov 22 Mexico vs Poland TBD TBD
Sat, Nov 26 Argentina vs Mexico TBD TBD
Sat, Nov 26 Poland vs S Arabia TBD TBD
Wed, Nov 30 Poland vs Argentina TBD TBD
Wed, Nov 30 S Arabia vs Mexico TBD TBD

Drawn into Group C, Argentina start as strong candidates to advance given Mexico, Poland and Saudi Arabia are their opponents.

Poland and Mexico will offer tough tests, as both boast players from the top five European leagues and both have performed well in recent times. It will also see two of the world’s best face each other as Robert Lewandowski takes on Messi in a battle of two elite goal-scorers on the biggest stage.

Saudi Arabia will likely make up the numbers here, and Argentina will hope to find their stride and find it early.

Argentina should emerge as group winners, given their talent and the fact they can rely on world-class players such as Messi and Angel Di Maria.

MORE: Who has won the most World Cups?

Argentina World Cup 2022 potential knockout draw

If they qualify for the knockout round as group winners, they would face the runners-up of Group D which features France and Denmark. If they finish second, it would most likely be France they face in the last 16.

If they come through the last 16 round, they would receive a manageable quarterfinal draw. This time it would be the winners of Group A versus the runners-up from Group B.

Most likely to win Group A would be the Netherlands, who would most likely beat the runners-up of Group B which could be the USA or whoever qualifies for the group stages out of Scotland, Ukraine or Wales.

If Argentina win there, they would most likely face the winner of Spain/Germany or Brazil in the semifinals, which would certainly be an incredible prospect.

They could then face any of England, Portugal, France or Belgium in the final (if they all win their expected games)

That run could see them face Denmark (round of 16), Netherlands (quarterfinals), Brazil (semifinals), and either England, Portugal, France or Belgium in the final. We’re holding out for that Cristiano Ronaldo vs Messi final, of course…

MORE: Are the World Cup 2022 stadiums air-conditioned?

Lionel Messi at the World Cup

Messi has always had the most intense spotlight shone on him at World Cup finals, which he usually relishes, while his teammates don’t.

He carried them to the final in 2014, being awarded the player of the tournament in Brazil, but it was only a bitter consolation as his side were edged out in extra time by Germany.

He has featured in four World Cups and this will be his fifth (and potentially last), which will see him become the first Argentinian player to do so, moving past Javier Mascherano and Diego Maradona.

Scoring at every World Cup except the 2010, he’s scored six goals and provided five assists in 19 appearances, and hopes to add to that record in Qatar.

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