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L. Messi

Martinez insists Argentina team-mate Messi is even better now than at 2021 Copa America

10:09 AM EST 12/17/22
Lionel Messi Argentina Croatia 2022 World Cup
Argentina goalkeeper Emi Martinez has said that the 2022 World Cup version of Lionel Messi is even better than the one who won the 2021 Copa America.
  • Won Golden Ball in 2021
  • Could do the same in 2022
  • Has been the star of both tournaments

WHAT HAPPENED? On Sunday afternoon, the 35-year-old football legend has the chance to win the game's biggest prize as his country take on France in the World Cup final. Messi has at least won a major trophy with Argentina before, lifting the Copa America last year. However, his goalkeeper believes the PSG star has reached a new level in Qatar in pursuit of glory.

WHAT THEY SAID: As quoted by The New Indian Express, Martinez said: "I saw a great Messi in the Copa America, an exceptional player, one of the best," Martinez said.

"And in this World Cup he took a step forward compared to the Copa America. He's playing better, both physically and in football terms. It was quite difficult to beat the Messi from the Copa America but he did it. This gives energy to the whole squad. He's excited, he's full of joy and it helps us very much."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: At the current World Cup, Messi has dazzled, scoring five goals (the joint-most) and providing three assists (also the joint-most). At the Copa America in 2021, he had four goals (joint-most) and five assists (the most). Evidently, he's been a behemoth at both tournaments but what will matter most to the former Barcelona man is winning the whole thing.

IN THREE PHOTOS:

WHAT NEXT FOR MESSI? Argentina take on France on Sunday, December 18, looking to win their third-ever World Cup – though it would be the first time Messi and his teammates lift the trophy.