Dear Lionel Messi (and also Argentina),
Wow. You actually did it. I know how many people were expecting it to happen this year. I know people who were expecting it to happen up until the 81st minute of that final, when France equalized through a fantastic Kylian Mbappé goal. But despite the fact that it truly does seem to have been meant to be, I was still surprised when Gonzalo Montiel’s last penalty went in. Not because I had any doubts about the skill of the team—I don’t think anyone on the planet had those, after watching a month of the most exciting soccer ever. No, I was surprised because fairytale endings don’t usually happen in real life.
It’s rare, even in the world of sports, for something to work out in the best possible way (sorry France and Ronaldo fans). But in this case, after a nerve wracking run that saw this team manage to come back from losing the first game, it did.
And this World Cup wasn’t like a single other tournament. I don’t think the stakes have been higher for any other country than they were for you. The last major international tournament for your best player, but he needed the rest of you to play to his level. And you did. From Julian Alvarez to Alexis Mac Allister to Emi Martinez, your team as a whole demonstrated their skill and talent on the world’s biggest stage, and won the ultimate prize
And, of course, more congratulations to Lionel Messi specifically for having the most liked post on Instagram. Someone finally dethroned the egg!
But, in all seriousness, this was a magical tournament that we are unlikely to see the likes of ever again. With all the drama, and even more emotions, this was the perfect way for Messi to get his biggest international trophy with you and cement his status as the GOAT.
Thank you for a month of incredible soccer,
Maia Monahan ’23