Sat 17 December 2022 | 14:37

Wenger says Messi’s recent showings is a sign of progress for football

Former Arsenal boss Wenger has lauded Lionel Messi for his recent performances for Albiceleste

Arsene Wenger believes


’s incredible showings with Argentina at the World Cup "

shows the evolution of modern sport"


Wenger’s remark came after he pointed out the fact that a number of World Cup stars in Qatar are over 30-years-old. The Frenchman was speaking at a press conference for FIFA's Technical Study Group alongside Jurgen Klinsmann.

The likes of Luka Modric, who has reached World Cup final stages twice in his thirties, as well as

Olivier Giroud

who also broke France’s all-time goalscoring record in addition to Lionel Messi himself are proof of what Wenger seems to suggest.

"I managed [Arsenal] in 2006 against Barcelona in the Champions League final and Messi was already starting to play,"

Wenger said.

"That’s 2006, we are in 2022 – that’s 16 years later and he’s still in contest for being player of the tournament.

"This tournament shows the evolution of modern sport. This tournament is the tournament of young players who are ready earlier and earlier in top-level sport, and as well the tournament of players who last longer and longer than ever before.

"We have not experienced World Cups with 35-year-old players being dominant, but we have Giroud, we have Messi,


– 37 – dominant players at this tournament.

"It shows that despite all the negativity about health and welfare of players, the life of a top-level sportsman lasts longer. They are ready earlier and they finish later."

Messi is about to get his second chance at winning the World Cup, having been denied once against Germany in 2014. Klinsmann commented on the legendary Argentine’s chance of winning the World Cup and his admiration for the player.

"Messi - everybody wants him to do well," Klinsmann stated. "We talked before the tournament about the big superstars who will put their stamp on the tournament and most of them delivered.

"Most of us are Messi fans no matter what. We want him to win the World Cup and be seen on the same level in his home country as [Diego] Maradona.

"We all know that for [Cristiano] Ronaldo and Messi it could be the last tournament. They have established themselves on the world stage for the last 15 years."

Klinsmann went on to comment on the younger generation, calling Mbappe an heir to Messi and Ronaldo:

"We talk about those big superstars towards the end of their career but also who is the next one taking over.

"Mbappe has the advantage because of his age.I was amazed about a lot of young players coming through, like [Cody] Gakpo from the Netherlands, or even with Germany going home early, there’s a special kid coming up with [Jamal] Musiala."



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source: SportMob

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