Brazil legend Pele congratulates Lionel Messi after Argentina beat France to win the World Cup and says ‘Diego Maradona is smiling now’
Brazil icon Pele has praised Lionel Messi after Argentina beat France in a spectacular penalty shootout to win the World Cup.
Argentina looked to have won the match with goals from Messi and Angel Di Maria, but two goals from Kylian Mbappe forced extra time.
The South American side made it 3-2 through Messi, but Mbappe scored late from the penalty spot to force a penalty shootout.
Argentina came out on top, however, with Messi finally getting his hands on the World Cup – the trophy previously hinted at.
Pelé, who won the World Cup three times with Brazil in 1958, 1962 and 1970, was watching the game from his hospital bed due to a respiratory infection.
He sent a heartfelt message to Messi and also praised Mbappe for his highs.
“Today, football continues to tell its story, as always, in an exciting way,” Pelé wrote on Instagram.
“Messi winning his first World Cup, as his trajectory deserved. My dear friend, Mbappe, scoring four goals in the final. What a gift it was to watch this show for the future of our sport.
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Messi got his hands on the Ballon d’Or as the tournament’s best player.
Mbappe, who became just the second player to score a hat-trick in a World Cup final, won the Golden Boot as top scorer with eight goals in seven games.
Pelé also had some words for Morocco, who became the first African team to reach the semi-finals of the competition.
“And I couldn’t fail to congratulate Morocco for the incredible campaign,” wrote Pelé. “It’s great to see Africa shine.”
The Brazil icon finally ended his post by praising Argentina, mentioning Diego Maradona.
Maradona, who led Argentina to the 1986 World Cup title, sadly passed away in 2020.
“Congratulations Argentina!” Pele wrote. “Certainly Diego is smiling now.”
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