The 2022 World Cup will be Lionel Messi‘s last for Argentina.
Messi has represented the South American nation at every tournament since 2006, his best finish coming in 2014 when the team lost 1-0 to Germany in the final.
The Paris Saint-Germain superstar will be desperate to add the World Cup trophy to his collection, as it would probably end the ‘GOAT debate’ once and for all.
On top of that, it would mean that Messi has emulated Argentina’s favourite son, Diego Armando Maradona – who almost single-handedly led the country to victory in 1986.
Argentina tipped to win in Qatar by EA Sports’ simulation
The omens look good for Argentina ahead of the 2022 World Cup. They’re currently on a 35-game unbeaten run, won the Copa America last summer and Messi, their inspirational captain, is back to his unstoppable best.
And La Albiceleste have also been boosted by the fact that EA Sports’ simulation is backing them to go all the way in Qatar.
Now, you may be asking; why on earth does it matter what a simulation says? Well, because EA Sports have predicted every winner correctly since 2010, when Spain triumphed for the first time.
So yeah, it’s kind of a big deal! Here’s how their simulation played out…
EA Sports’ 2022 World Cup simulation
Brazil, Argentina, France and Germany all finished top of their respective groups, while USA were the surprise gold medalists in theirs at the expense of England – who only secured progress by virtue of a late Jude Bellingham goal against Wales.
Holland, Croatia and Croatia were the other top dogs in the group stage. They were joined by the other seven runners-up; Denmark, Senegal, Poland, Belgium, South Korea, Spain and Switzerland.
Check out EA Sports’ graphic below to see how the knockout stage played out…
It was so, so close to being a Messi versus Cristiano Ronaldo World Cup final, but Portugal sadly lost out on penalties to Brazil in the semi-finals.
However, the outcome in the final was still pretty darn amazing. Messi scored the only goal of the all-South American match, his eighth of the tournament, to seal a famous 1-0 win.
If that outcome indeed becomes reality next month, football Twitter will be absolute chaos – in a good way!
Let’s take a look at the respective award winners from the simulation, with Messi unsurprisingly the dominant figure…
Golden Ball: Lionel Messi
Golden Boot: Lionel Messi
Golden Glove: Emiliano Martinez
There was actually a four-way tie for the Golden Glove in EA Sports’ simulation between Rui Patricio of Portugal, Alisson of Brazil, Dominik Livakovic of Croatia and Martinez.
But the Argentine was the recipient of the award in the end due to the fact he progressed the furthest in the tournament.
Team of the Tournament
The XI: Emiliano Martinez (Argentina), Joao Cancelo (Portugal), Raphael Varane (France), Marquinhos (Brazil), Marcos Acuna (Argentina), Leandro Paredes (Argentina), Rodrigo De Paul (Argentina), Vinicius Junior (Brazil), Lionel Messi (Argentina), Kylian Mbappe (France), Richarlison (Brazil).