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Lionel Messi on Cusp of Special World Cup Treble as Argentina Face Croatia in Semis

© Sputnik / Grigory Sysoyev / Go to the mediabankLionel Messi during the match between Netherlands and Argentina at FIFA World Cup in Qatar
Lionel Messi during the match between Netherlands and Argentina at FIFA World Cup in Qatar - Sputnik India, 1920, 13.12.2022
Lionel Messi's dream of lifting his maiden World Cup title is still alive with Argentina being dubbed as the frontrunner to claim the trophy in Qatar by the pundits.
Argentina captain Lionel Messi is on the verge of a unique World Cup treble as the La Albiceleste square off against Croatia for a spot in the final of the greatest football tournament on earth in Qatar on Tuesday.

Not only did the Barcelona legend claim an elusive World Cup title in the Arab nation but also become the first man to win the Golden Boot and the Golden Ball awards at the same time.

The Golden Ball Race in Qatar

The Golden Ball award is presented to the best player at each edition of the FIFA World Cup.
The Technical Study Group of the football's global governing body, helmed by the legendary Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, will curate a list of the top performers at the World Cup before the media votes to select the best player of the event.
Though the semis and the final are yet to take place, it is almost a given that Messi would feature on the list, considering the contributions he has made so far.
While he has already picked the Golden Ball award in 2014 when Argentina lost to Germany in the final, the seven-time Ballon d'Or winner won't mind winning it for the second time this year.

Messi Battles Mbappe for Golden Boot

The Golden Boot is awarded to the top scorer in the World Cup. At present, Messi occupies the joint second spot with four goals, tied with Olivier Giroud of France. On the other hand, Giroud's French teammate leads the pack with 5.
2022 has been a highly productive year for the Rosario-born football star, having netted 15 goals for Argentina this year so far. He would be hoping to carry his form in two more matches as that could help him in attaining his lifelong dream of capturing the World Cup as well as the Golden Boot in the Middle East.
Among other records, La Pulga has won a total of 10 Player of the Match awards at World Cups, including three at the competition in Qatar - the most a footballer has ever achieved in history.