WORLD CUP CONFIDENTIAL: Messi must emulate Bale for Argentina

If Lionel Messi is to win the World Cup at the final attempt he must emulate Gareth Bale and produce in the big moments! Sportsmail’s writers discuss the Argentina star’s chances of glory in Qatar in today’s WORLD CUP CONFIDENTIAL

  • Lionel Messi likely has one last chance of winning the World Cup with Argentina
  • The 35-year-old will take on Saudi Arabia in Argentina’s first match on Tuesday
  • Sportsmail’s Martin Samuel thinks the forward must try to emulate Gareth Bale
  • The Wales captain scored a crucial equaliser against USA in Monday’s 1-1 draw
  • To lead Argentina to glory, Messi must step up in the biggest moments like Bale
  • Click here for the latest World Cup 2022 news, fixtures, live action and results 

Lionel Messi will lead Argentina to World Cup glory if he emulates Gareth Bale’s match-winning prowess, which was on display during Wales’ crucial 1-1 draw against USA on Monday.

The Welsh captain won and dispatched a late penalty to equalise after Timothy Weah’s first-half opener, keeping Wales’ hopes of qualifying for the knockout stages very much alive in Group B.

Sportsmail’s Martin Samuel believes Messi must become for Argentina what Bale is for Wales, channeling the Welshman’s knack of stepping up in the biggest moments. 

Lionel Messi is bidding to win the World Cup in what promises to be his final attempt in Qatar

Gareth Bale (L) scored a crucial equaliser from the spot as Wales drew 1-1 with USA on Monday

Daily Mail Columnist Samuel was speaking as part of Sportsmail and MailPlus‘ daily videocast ‘World Cup Confidential’. It appears on MailOnline every morning of the tournament and can be found on our YouTube channel. 

When asked whether he felt Messi could win his first World Cup in Qatar, Samuel replied: ‘You never know. But the guy he should attempt to emulate is Gareth Bale. Because Gareth Bale yesterday found a way of inserting himself into a match from nowhere. 

‘And throughout his career, towards the end of his career, Gareth Bale has found a way of inserting himself into the narrative.

‘You’ve got the MLS last season, didn’t play 90 minutes for his club at all in the season, comes on in extra time, scores the equalising goal, they win the MLS Cup.

‘It’s that sort of thing you want from a player like say Lionel Messi. He can’t be the man he was 10 years ago, he really can’t, but what he can be is that guy. That guy who can define the match when you really, really need it. 

The 35-year-old forward will take on Saudi Arabia in Argentina’s World Cup opener on Tuesday

‘And Cristiano Ronaldo the same. I’m not sure he’s as potent as Lionel Messi potentially at the moment but that quality great players have when they decide they are not going to lose a game. 

‘That’s what Gareth Bale’s got – I’m not going to lose this game, we’re not going to lose this. 

‘He found a way of getting a point for Wales last night. It’s not going to work for him every single night, but it worked last night and it works for him quite a lot. And that’s what you want from Messi for Argentina.’

Messi’s World Cup bid begins as Argentina take on Saudi Arabia in their tournament opener on Tuesday. 

The Argentine superstar won his first major international trophy in 2021, after his nation beat Brazil 1-0 in the Copa America final last September.

Messi won his first major international trophy in 2021, lifting the Copa America with Argentina

However, despite being widely considered as the greatest footballers of all time, Messi has yet to add the World Cup to his illustrious portfolio of trophies.

Sportsmail’s Ian Herbert feels that all the indicators are pointing towards Messi lifting the World Cup in December. 

He said on ‘World Cup Confidential’: ‘It feels written in the stars for Messi, so many of the locals here are Argentina fans, there are a lot of No 10 jerseys around. 

‘I think there’s that too. If he plays in the final, it’ll be his 1,000th game. I just feel there’s a narrative to be written here, how sweet would that be?’

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