Lionel Messi allayed injury fears ahead of the World Cup final. The Argentina forward was in sublime form once more as his country booked their spot in Sunday’s showpiece by beating Croatia 3-0.
Messi scored from the spot to go level with club teammate Kylian Mbappe in the Golden Boot race, before setting up Julian Alvarez’s second goal with a glorious assist.
The 35-year-old will get another shot at the ultimate glory, eight-and-a-half years on from Argentina’s loss to Germany in Brazil.
There had been concern throughout Tuesday’s semi-final as Messi appeared to repeatedly grab his left hamstring.
Any injury to the Paris Saint-Germain star could prove fatal to Argentina’s hopes of ending their 36-year long wait for a World Cup but Messi was quick to assure supporters he was fully fit.
“I feel really good, I feel strong and ready to play each game,” said Messi.
“It’s not easy as we arrived tired but the group gained strength again and we played a strong game. I am enjoying this a lot. I feel very happy in this World Cup and I am able to help the squad.”
Current holders France meet Morocco on Wednesday to determine who will play Argentina in the final.