Tiger Woods hails Lionel Messi as the ‘greatest soccer player he’s ever seen’ because the Argentine does ‘stupid’ things with the ball and has ‘made many a goalkeeper look bad’ ahead of the PSG star’s World Cup win
Golf icon Tiger Woods had weighed in on soccer’s debate over who is the greatest player of all time as he hailed Lionel Messi ahead of Argentina’s World Cup victory.
The Argentine scored twice during the World Cup final at the Lusail Stadium, adding to his total haul of seven for the tournament, and became the first player to win player of the tournament twice during his team’s victory over France on penalties.
Messi cemented his status as the greatest of all time for many fans Sunday after finally clinching the one trophy that had evaded him throughout his sensational career.
Tiger Woods (left) hailed Lionel Messi (right) as the greatest soccer player of all time
However, another sporting great, Woods, had already named the No. 10 as soccer’s best.
Before the World Cup final, Woods, who was competing at the PNC Championship this weekend, told the PGA Tour: ‘He’s the greatest soccer player I’ve ever seen, I mean, you say Pele and Maradona but I just still think that what Messi does with the ball is stupid. It’s stuck to his foot.
‘He makes people miss [and] with that left foot of his it’s made many a goalkeeper look bad.’
Messi went into the 2022 competition in Qatar referring to it as his last World Cup but after the victory there were already signs that he, like Woods, is not quite ready to call it quits just yet.
The Argentine clinched the one trophy that had evaded him throughout his glittering career
There were suggestions Messi could step away from playing for his country if he won the World Cup, bowing out at the very top level.
But speaking after getting his hands on trophy, Messi said: ‘No, I’m not gonna retire from the national team. I want to keep playing as World Cup champions with Argentina shirt.’
After Sunday’s game, Messi has played 172 times for Argentina and has scored 98 goals following his double-strike against France.
Messi scored his first from the penalty spot to give Argentina a 1-0 lead. Angel di Maria made it 2-0 in the first half and Argentina looked set for a smooth victory when he rounded off a sweeping passing move with a clinical finish.
But with 10 minutes left on the clock, France striker Kylian Mbappe – Messi’s teammate at French side PSG – turned the game on its head with two goals in two minutes, including one from the penalty spot himself.
Messi led the jubilant celebrations with his teammates after the final whistle on Sunday
That took the game to extra time and for a moment, it felt like momentum had slipped away from Argentina.
Messi struck again, from close range, in the 108th minute but one final twist was still to come.
Mbappe got his hat-trick after a handball in the France penalty area and the game went down to a shootout.
Messi and Mbappe scored their penalties but Kingsley Coman and Aurelien Tchouameni missed for France.
Woods finished tied-eighth with his 13-year-old son Charlie at the PNC Championship Sunday
Meanwhile, Woods finished tied-eighth with his 13-year-old son Charlie at the PNC Championship Sunday.
Starting the day two shots off the lead, Woods and the 13-year-old Charlie hit the course in Tiger’s signature red.
But the duo were both walking wounded heading into this weekend’s competition in Florida and were unable to seal top spot. They finished on a score of 20-under, six shots behind eventual winner Team Singh.