Lionel Messi sets up his shot at destiny with throwback brilliance | Barney Ronay

Argentina’s icon ran things again and took a step back in time to set up a clinching third goal as Croatia were swept aside

Does it actually matter if Lionel Messi wins a World Cup? This will now be the narrative around the dog days of his final global tournament leading up to the final on Sunday.

The reality is something else. In fact, watching Messi here the opposite seemed to be the case. This was not just a performance of edge and thrust and decisive moments but all of those things carved out of the air in his own unique physical style, a footballer capable, at 35, of basically making this thing up in his own image.

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