In the 81st minute, Croatia substituted their captain Luka Modric, signalling their submission to Lionel Messi’s phenomenal Argentina side. This will likely be Modric’s last World Cup game. Messi will play one more, on December 18 in the presence of the FIFA World Cup trophy in Lusail Stadium.
The pivotal moment is when Croatia’s star goalkeeper Livakovic fouled Alvarez in the penalty area, giving Messi the spot to score his record-breaking goal.
Scoring his fifth in the tournament, Messi passed Batistuta to become Argentina’s all-time World Cup top scorer.
Five minutes later Alvarez will score again, erupting the stadium into delirium.
But the best moment of the game is when Messi, the G.O.AT, accelerated from the midline to break the Croatian defence. Alvarez had nothing left to do but tap in and finish his memorable night.
The European side that toppled Brazil, Japan and Belgium to enter the semifinals had nothing to offer throughout the match.
Lionel Messi is now one step closer to being the first Argentine to lift the World Cup trophy since Maradona in 1986.