On this day in 2014, Germany beat Argentina and Lionel Messi in the World Cup final


July 13 is a date that Lionel Messi will never forget, sadly, for all the wrong reasons. 

On that day, five year's ago, he had the chance to cement himself undeniably as the greatest footballer of all time, by winning the World Cup final. 

At times, the Argentine had single-handedly dragged his nation to the showpiece event at the Maracana Stadium, where Germany stood between Messi and immortality.

But, as we all know, it wasn't to be. 

Die Mannschaft were crowned World Champions for the fourth time thanks to Mario Gotze's extra-time winner. 

Messi had tried to lead Argentina to glory, but eventually fell at the final hurdle and was made to walk past the trophy to collect his runners-up medal. 

The image of him staring blankly at the glittering prize that was standing just in front of him has become infamous. 

Interestingly, that photograph was captured by Bao Tailiang - who's since won a couple of awards for his memorable snap. 


Whatever happens before Messi retires, the summer of 2014 will likely be the lowest moment of his career. 

The Argentine captain was in his prime, coming off the back of a 41 goal season for Barcelona. But his success didn't carry to the international stage.  

That night, five years ago, Messi did win the Golden Ball, which is awarded to the best player of the tournament. Not that it was any consolation.  


"I wanted to take Argentina to the World Cup for all the people," he said. 

"Being so close to that [2014] World Cup was terrible because we deserved to be able to lift it. It was the ultimate moment for that generation.

"We had an impressive group. It's getting tougher; nobody gives you anything and not conceding goals is so important."


Now 32, Messi's best chances of winning the World Cup have passed as Argentina failed to deliver in Brazil, then four years later in Russa. 

The South American star has said he will play one last tournament in 2022, but it remains to be seen if he'll ever have a better chance to get his hands on the greatest prize of them all. 

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