Talking football: World Cup win is fitting epitaph for ‘GOAT’ Messi

That well-known Danish lager company doesn't do World Cup final fairytales.
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Good job too, because they would have been banned out in Qatar...

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But in every other sense, the sight of Lionel Messi picking up the World Cup trophy was the happiest ending possible (that didn't involve Harry Kane doing likewise).

Lionel Messi with the World CupLionel Messi with the World Cup
Lionel Messi with the World Cup
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The greatest player of his generation – any generation, I would argue - being the focus of attention after the greatest ever World Cup final - possibly even the greatest ever football match.

For 70 minutes, it was one-way traffic as Argentina were in exhibition mode as France struggled to lay a glove on them.

Step forward Kylian Mbappe - the natural successor to Messi's crown as best player in the world - to turn the game on its head in the space of two minutes.

Only the second man to score a hat-trick in a World Cup final.

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As proud Scot Ally McCoist mischievously put it, 'the first man to score a hat-trick in a World Cup final where all three goals went over the line'.

After putting away two penalties during the game, Mbappe even held his nerve to score a third during the dramatic shoot-out which decided an enthralling contest.

But after scoring his side's first and third goals - and converting his own spot-kick in the shoot-out - it was Messi who was the toast of the world.

Just as his countryman, the great Diego Maradona, had been...36 years ago in Mexico.

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For most of that time, every single young forward player who could control and pass a ball has been labelled 'the next Maradona'.

For the last decade and a half, Messi has shone like a beacon.

Inspiring arguably the greatest ever club side - Pep Guardiola's Barcelona - to multiple domestic and European successes.

The one thing some held against him was the failure to emulate Maradona and winning the big one, on the international stage.

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After winning the Copa America last year, the World Cup success finally puts Messi on to that pedestal alongside – perhaps just above - Maradona.

And not even Cristiano Ronaldo's chief cheerleader Piers Morgan can argue.

It was a disappointing start to the Kolo Toure era at the DW Stadium on Monday night.

On the back of a promising 1-1 draw at Millwall, Latics were brought crashing down to earth against Sheffield United in front of the Sky cameras.

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Annoyingly, they were the architects of their own downfall, with both of the Blades’ goals stemming from individual errors.

Several of the players along the backline looked ill at ease with the new style of playing out from defence.

That unease soon spread to the stands, and it will need everyone sticking together - on and off the pitch - to ensure the new format beds in as quickly as possible.

As Toure acknowledged, it's the way the club wants to play, and the reason he was brought in as manager, so there's no alternative.

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It was perhaps fitting to see Roberto Martinez, alongside Graham Barrow, in the directors box to help to welcome in the Toure era.

He, of course, introduced a similar style of playing during his four years here.

And if memory serves, he - and we - didn't do too badly out of it...