World Cup Final set to be Messi's last game for Argentina
FIFA World Cup Argentina

Lionel Messi has reportedly confirmed that the 2022 FIFA World Cup final will be his last game for Argentina.

Messi was in magical form and scored from the penalty spot, and also set up the assist for the third goal as Argentina defeated Croatia 3-0 in the first semi-final on Wednesday.

Messi, who has scored five goals in the tournament so far, also became Argentina's leading goalscorer in World Cups, surpassing Gabriel Batistuta on the list. The 35-year-old has 11 World Cup goals to his name so far and could yet add to his tally come Sunday.

It was a host of records for the PSG man, who also tied level with Lothar Matthaus at 25 games, making him the player to have recorded the joint-most appearances in the World Cup. He will no doubt make that record his own on Sunday.

While football fans are pleased to see Messi set yet more records, some sadness could also stem from the fact that his time gracing the sport is coming to an end.

Messi to call it quits with international football

"I feel very happy to be able to achieve this, to finish my World Cup journey by playing my last game in a final," Messi reportedly told Argentine media outlet Diario Deportivo Ole after his side’s semifinal victory over Croatia.

"It's many years for the next one and I don't think I'll be able to do it. And to finish like this, it's the best," he added.

After the semi-final win over Croatia, Messi urged his teammates to "enjoy" the occasion.

"Argentina are, once again, in the World Cup final. Enjoy it!" said Messi.

"We've been through tough situations, other very good ones. Today we're experiencing something spectacular."

Manchester City forward Julian Alvarez scored twice to take his tally of goals in the tournament to four in as many games.

Argentina arrived in Qatar as one of the tournament favourites but saw their tournament thrown into major doubt following their opening group game 1-2 defeat against outsiders Saudi Arabia. They were unbeaten in 36 matches before arriving in Doha.

They made a strong response to that defeat and have now raced all the way to the final, now within touching distance of winning the competition for the first time since 1986.

The two-time champions will now take on either Morocco or holders France in the final, which will be played at the Lusail Stadium on Sunday.