Argentina defender Nicolas Tagliafico has attributed Argentina’s 2022 World Cup victory to the masterclass performance of Lionel Messi.
The PSG star and former Barcelona playmaker made the headlines after he finally capped his 18-year heroic career with one of the most sought-after football trophies.
Lionel Messi’s 2022 World Cup heroics was not a hopeless song crooned and hyped by his million fans across the globe. Argentina and Lyon defender Tagliafico, who featured in Argentina’s all World Cup games has hailed the World Cup hero for helping the team win its third World Cup trophy.
Messi helped the team recover from a shock opening defeat to Saudi Arabia, and led them to victories against Poland and Mexico, including knockout wins against Australia, Netherlands, Croatia, and then France in the final.
In the final against France, Messi helped the Albiceleste survive Kylian Mbappe’s scare by scoring twice and converting his penalty in the shootouts.
According to Tagliafico, Lionel Messi’s penalty was the tiebreaker in the game, setting the tone for the team to subsequently cruise to victory.
“After Mbappe’s penalty, the pressure was on the other team. Leo approach it with all the pressure, knowing that I’d he missed it we would have lost…Leo kicked it as if he was playing with his son Matteo in the garden”, he said.
The Abiceleste took the lead twice in the final and were clearly dominating the game before Kylian Mbappe helped Les Bleus mount a formidable response.
Lionel Messi bagged a brace while Kylian Mbappe bagged a hat-trick to drag the game to penalties, where Argentina won to deny France a chance to defend the trophy they won four years ago in Russia.
Who is Nicolas Tagliafico?
Born on December 31, 1992, in Cazda, Argentina Nicolas Alejandro Tagliafico is an Argentine football star, who plays as a defender for French Ligue 1 club Lyon and Argentina national team.
The 30-year-old started his football career with Banfield youth team in 2010 before proceeding to make his first senior appearance for the club same year.
He played for Banfield for five years, making 90 appearances, and scoring 2 goals. In 2012, he was sent on a season-long loan deal to Real Murcia, where he made 27 appearances.
In 2015, Nicolas Tagliafico returned to his home country, where he played for Independiente from 2015 to 2018, making 85 appearances, and scoring 2 goals.
He returned to the shores of Europe in 2018, where he played in the Dutch elite division with Ajax. He made 115 appearances for the Dutch champions, scoring 9 goals.
Nicolas Alejandro Tagliafico is currently plying his trade with French Ligue 1 side Lyon. He joined Lyon in 2022, and has made 15 appearances for the club, scoring one goal.
National team stats
Nicolas Tagliafico rose through the ranks in Argentina national team from the youth levels to the senior level.
He first made his debut for the senior national team in 2017, and has been cap 48 times.
Nicolas Tagliafico has won several individual awards and trophies. He won Copa Sudamerica in 2017 with Independiente.
With Ajax, he has won the Eredivisie three times and the KNVB Cup two times, including Eredivisie Player of the month of November in 2018.
With Argentina national, Tagliafico won the CONMEBOL – UEFA Cup of Champions in 2022. He also won the Copa America in 2021, and the most recent trophy being the 2022 World Cup trophy.
He is currently on three-year contract with Lyon which will expire in 2025.