It has been more than a month since arguably the best World Cup in the history of football closed its curtains. The 22nd edition of the competition, was being held for the first time in a Middle-Eastern State and during the winter season, and is regarded by many as the most memorable one ever. Argentina eventually emerged victorious in the finale after repelling a sensational comeback from the 2018 FIFA World Cup champion and its star man Kylian Mbappé, winning the final via a cruel penalty shoot-out. The triumph gave the winning team captain Lionel Messi the last missing piece of his priced silverware cabinet and many had said the GOAT debate between him and Cristiano Ronaldo had been settled for good.
Zlatan: “Messi Needed to Win.”
La Pulga’s former club teammate at Barcelona, 41-year-old Zlatan Ibrahimović congratulated his ex club mate’s success at Qatar in an interview with France Inter, saying that “I said Argentina will for sure win the World Cup, because if you want to remember the Qatar World Cup for the rest of history, who needs to win? Messi. Messi is considered the best player in history. If you want to remember the Qatar World Cup, Messi needs to win. I was 100 percent sure he would win.”
Furthermore, the AC Milan forward extended his consolation towards the tournament’s Golden Boot winner Kylian Mbappé, for his enormous effort to pull France back multiple times with his hat-trick in the final, the second ever in the history of the FIFA World Cup finals. The Paris-born forward scored eight goals in seven games in the 2022 FIFA World Cup, and now needs only five more goals to surpass Miroslav Klose’s all-time goal scoring record in the tournament (16).
Zlatan believed, having achieved the unparalleled feat of winning the World Cup four years earlier, Mbappé will surely have more opportunities to collect international glories, he added, “But I felt sorry for Mbappe, because if you score three goals in a final and don’t win the World Cup, that is very sad. What will happen? He will win another World Cup, and he already won one, so I’m not worried about Mbappe.”
Not a Fan of Argentina’s Outrageous Celebration Style
On the other hand, the former Malmö FF, Ajax, Juventus, Inter Milan, Barcelona, AC Milan, Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester United striker did not appreciate the Argentina national team’s behaviour and their way of honouring the victory. He went on to highlight that it was a sign that the players, other than the great Lionel Messi, who has likely played his last ever World Cup match in the Qatar final last year, will never win another international crown. His statement read “I’m worried about the other players in Argentina, because they will not win anything more. Messi has won everything and he will be remembered, but the rest, who behaved badly, that you cannot respect. That’s coming from me as a professional football player at a high level. That is a sign you will win one time and you will not win any more. Mbappe will win again.”
41-year-old Zlatan Ibrahimović had scored 572 for club and country since making his official debut back in 1999. Despite hitting forties already, the striker remains active in professional football in Europe’s top leagues. He has yet to feature for AC Milan this season due to a recovery from an ACL injury he suffered last season.
Can you guess which player is hitting the hottest form after the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar? It is Zlatan’s former Manchester United teammate and England’s Marcus Rashford. Read how Rashford helped his club to overcome Manchester City in the recent Manchester derby.