French media found why Lionel Messi is performing so well at the World Cup for Argentina, it's divided fans
| Last updated
Argentina captain Lionel Messi might be performing at a stunning level at the World Cup due to a major improvement in one area, according to French media.
Argentina bounced back from a humiliating defeat to Saudi Arabia in their World Cup opener to top Group C after back-to-back wins over Mexico and Poland.
Lionel Scaloni’s men went on to beat Australia 2-1 in the last 16 before claiming a stunning penalty shootout win over the Netherlands in the quarter-finals.
Argentina punched their ticket to the final after beating 2018 World Cup finalists Croatia 3-0 at the Lusail Stadium on Tuesday.
Messi, who is competing at his final World Cup, has been in sensational form for his country and has scored five times and registered three assists in Qatar.
The seven-time Ballon d’Or winner is tied with Paris Saint-Germain teammate Kylian Mbappe, who he will face on Sunday, in the race for the World Cup Golden Boot.
French outlet Get French Football News has now claimed that Messi has benefited from his time in Ligue 1 and has become “more physically robust.”
The publication backed up its claim by pointing to an interview Messi did with France Football after his high-profile move to the French capital.
Ligue 1 has made Lionel Messi more physically robust.— Get French Football News (@GFFN) December 13, 2022
“I have really not been here long. I have played very few matches, so it is difficult to make conclusions,” Messi said in October 2021, as per L’Equipe.
“But, at first glance, this is a league that is a lot more physical than La Liga. Here, the teams seem more powerful and the matches are very intense, with little space.
“The majority of players are very strong. But it is still a little early for me to give a complete analysis of Ligue 1, because it is one thing to watch matches and another to be on the pitch for them.”
Get French Football News’ claim on Messi’s strength being improved due to his time in Ligue 1 led to some fans agreeing with the French outlet’s assessment.
“They will clown him but low-key there is some truth to this and I think Messi would say the same,” one fan said in response.
Another Twitter user argued: “Getting cooked for saying something totally correct. Even [Eden] Hazard said this before.”
Someone else tweeted: “Hmm, never thought about that. Very interesting. People who are more familiar with Ligue 1 have often told me that the French league is more physical than other leagues.”
“This is FAX [sic] and I won’t respond to any stupid [people] who disagree,” one fan commented.
A fifth fan added: “This is actually very, very true.”
Not every fan is in agreement with Messi benefiting from the physicality of France’s top-flight league, with some arguing that he has always handled himself well.
“This is such a shameless tweet [as] he’s always been one of the most difficult footballers to bully off the ball [and] it’s literally one of his best qualities,” one fan said.
While another posted: “What about the million times he’s been practically [beaten] up in La Liga?”
A third added: “Messi played against some of the toughest centre-backs in his prime back in La Liga.”
And a fourth Twitter user wrote: “The man took on some of the best defenders I’ve seen in my life and made them look like kids. Are you new here?”