Lionel Messi appears to have finally settled the debate over who the best footballer of all time is after winning the World Cup in Qatar. 

Footballing legends from across the globe felt the 35-year-old had earned the title after emulating another Argentinian number 10 by guiding his nation to their first World Cup in 32 years.

Messi opened the scoring with a first-half penalty and got the eventual shoot-out off to the perfect start with an incredibly coolly taken spot-kick.

Argentina have won the World Cup in Qatar thanks in no small part to Lionel Messi

The 35-year-old has finally secured the one trophy that always eluded him

The football world appeared to be in agreement that Messi is now the greatest player ever

In Jamie Carragher’s eyes, the performance was enough to place him above anyone in the history of the game, as he tweeted a list of great players with Messi in first,  Diego Maradona second, and Cristiano Ronaldo down in fourth.

2014 World Cup winner Bastian Schweinsteiger shared his sentiments, tweeting that the diminutive Argentinian had ‘finally crowned his great career.’

For many, including England’s Declan Rice and Tammy Abraham, Messi is now simply ‘the best ever’ and ‘greatest of all time’, while Alan Shearer said the win was ‘written in the stars.’

Hockey star Sam Quek added that the debate had been ‘fun while it lasted’ but that it was now ‘finished. Settled. Confirmed.’

There were those who refrained from commenting on the GOAT debate and focused instead on the performance, including famous Ronaldo fan Piers Morgan who instead congratulated ‘Messi and his team’ after an ‘incredible game’. 

He opened the scoring with a penalty and begun the shootout with a coolly taken effort

Jake Paul went as far to call Messi ‘the greatest athlete of all time’ after his performance

Even YouTuber-turned boxer Jake Paul weighed in as he praised Messi as the ‘greatest athlete athlete of all time’ and offered commiseration’s to his opponent Kylian Mbappe, who became just the second man in history to score a hattrick in a World Cup final but still ended up on the losing team.

Argentina’s World Cup win marks the end up a thrilling campaign that started with a 2-1 loss to Saudi Arabia and saw them blow a 2-0 lead twice during the knockout stages.

It will bring redemption to Messi after the disappointment of 2014, and seems to have ended any debates over his places in football’s pantheon of legends. 

Lionel Messi branded the GOAT by football’s big names including Jamie Carragher

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