2022 the undisputed year of Lionel Messi

Paris: 18 December 2022, and after a final described as “legendary”, Lionel Messi lifted the FIFA World Cup surrounded by his teammates after Argentina beat France on penalties in Qatar, thus stamping its name as the title for the football year. And with him finally being crowned world champion, Messi has claimed every title he could win. And now he sits at the top of football where few players, with the exception of Brazilian legends Pele and Argentine Diego Maradona, can compete with him for the title of best player in history. The record of the “flea” is enormous: World Cup (2022), America’s Cup (2021), four titles in European Champions League, a large number of leagues and cups with national teams and club, and seven golden balls! And with this 41st collective cup won in major football tournaments, not counting the Under 20 World Cup, the 35-year-old Argentine is quantitatively far from Pelé, Maradona, the French Zinedine Zidane, the Argentine-Spanish Alfredo Di Stefano, the Dutch Johan Cruyff, or even the German Frans Beckenbauer. The day after the conquest of the coveted trophy and the printing of the third star for Argentina, the sports newspaper “Mundo Deportivo” of Barcelona headlined in front page “Messi, the best in history”. A victory that set the streets of the Argentine capital, Buenos Aires, on fire, while millions of fans greeted the triumphant return of Messi and his companions. Benzema: Ballon d’Or… and “pure gold” international retreat… “Benzema Al-Khalid”… “Karim paved the way”. All these sentences fell on the French striker, Spanish star from Real Madrid, who in October 2022 unanimously won the Ballon d’Or as the best player in the world. After giving him a dream season, the 35-year-old Real Madrid striker became the first French player since Zinedine Zidane in 1998 to snatch that award. Benzema won almost everything in the 2021-2022 season: the Champions League, the Spanish league, the European Nations League with the “Roosters” and the top scorer and best player awards in Spain for the same season. Benzema was the fifth French player to receive this award after Raymond Kopa (1958), Michel Platini three times (1983-1984-1985), Jean-Pierre Baban (1991) and “Zizou” (1998). But 2022 will also remain the year of retirement in national team for Ben Zima, after he was denied participation in the World Cup in Qatar with the French national team due to an injury sustained during training before the first match for the “Blues”. Through a message about socialthe Ballon d’Or announced the news in the aftermath of France’s defeat by Argentina in the Qatar World Cup final, and the day in which he celebrated his thirty-fifth birthday. Champions League chaos On May 28, Real Madrid won the Champions League final at the Stade de France against Liverpool (1-0), but the evening was marred by unspeakable chaos outside the stadium, with hundreds of Reds fans they were interdicted by the police”. , which at the time raised questions about the French capital’s ability to host the 2024 Olympics. The start of the match was delayed by more than 30 minutes, the time needed to evacuate the crowd trapped outside the stadium. The following day, the French organizers of the event came under sharp criticism from Liverpool fans and the British press. The controversy escalated when the interior minister, Gerard Darmanin, accused the English fans of being the cause of the events. On the other hand, English fans accused French police of mishandling the human flow and trying to disperse peaceful supporters with tear gas. But in Ultimately, it was France’s image as a major event organizer that was shaken, just two years before the upcoming Summer Olympics in Paris. After weeks of suspense and rumors of his departure for Real Madrid, Kylian Mbappe announced on May 23 that he would extend his contract with Paris Saint-Germain until 2025. star Frenchman clarified that his decision was “difficult”, but he made a “mathematical decision” and not a financial one, that of joining a project which ultimately aims to give the club Parisian the Champions League, which has not yet tasted. Mbappé, top scorer of the Qatar 2022 World Cup (8 goals), revealed that he spoke at the time with French President Emmanuel Macron and former president Nicolas Sarkozy before making his choice of him. The two leaders advised him to stay in Paris. “The project (Paris Saint-Germain) has changed. The club he wants to change many things in sport and this really gave me the desire to continue, because I think my story didn’t end there. The 23-year-old forward has spent several months in the sea of ​​spins and courtships of the club Spanish, that in that phase lost the opportunity to insert the Norwegian Erling Haaland, who then moved on to the English Manchester City. But Mbappé did not hide his bitterness when he discovered he had lost the fight, just as he lost the World Cup final. (AFP)