Lionel Messi’s Argentina has reached the finals of the 2022 FIFA World Cup with a commanding 3-0 victory over Croatia at Qatar’s Lusail Stadium.
Two of Argentina’s goals came in the first half as Messi scored from the penalty spot in the 34th minute, followed just five minutes later by another goal this time from the boot of Julian Alvarez.
Alvarez put the ball in the back of the net in the 69th minute to make it 3-0 and put any chance of a late recovery out of Croatia’s reach.
Croatia were looking for their second successive final but it was not to be for the European side. Argentina will now face either reigning champions France, or upstarts Morocco in the final.
Tuesday’s semi-final saw Messi tie the record for most appearances at the World Cup when he played for the 25th time for Argentina at footballs biggest tournament.
Lothar Matthäus of Germany previously held the record outright.
Messi, who is playing in his fifth and likely final World Cup, will have a chance to break the record if he plays in the final on Sunday.
During this tournament, Messi has already reached some other milestones in Qatar.
He surpassed Diego Maradona as the Argentina player with the most appearances in the World Cup during the group stage, and joined Gabriel Batistuta with 10 goals in the tournament by scoring a penalty against the Netherlands in the quarterfinals.
Argentina last reached the World Cup final in 2014 in Brazil, where they lost to Germany.