Argentina Player Ratings vs Croatia: Magician Messi Clinches Another World Cup Final

Argentina Player Ratings

It was a wonderful day for Los Albiceleste as they danced through to the final of the 2022 World Cup by beating a stubborn Croatia 3-0.

With moments of magic from the magisterial main man himself in Messi, alongside an effervescent defensive display from the back-line, see Last Word on Football’s Argentina player ratings after the match with Croatia.

Argentina Player Ratings vs Croatia

Emi Martinez – 7/10

Quiet for the majority of the match, just came out to claim some wayward crosses and kill some time.

Nahuel Molina – 7/10

Good going down the wing, trying to add some width. Wasn’t able to put that decisive ball in the box, or charge in as per usual,  but still gave some threat down the right side and did his defensive job. Came off in the 85th.

Cristian Romero – 7/10

Wasn’t really challenged beyond crosses which both CB’s did well in defending in the first half.  In the second half did very well to snuff out any potential dangers outside his box. Got carded for his troubles in the second half.

Nicolas Otamendi – 7/10

Same as Romero, but notably traveled more across the width of the pitch to pressure Croatia’s wingers and midfielders. Also earned himself a caution for his troubles.

Nicolas Tagliafico – 8/10

Was the best defender across the pitch. Not only was he solid in his defensive duties at the back post and against counters, but bombarded down that left side and offered a lot of attacking threat. Never got tired, never stopped running, always looked sharp.

Rodrigo De Paul – 7/10

Was busy in the midfield trying to contain Sosa and Kovacic, but did just enough to not let them break. Went off in the 73rd.

Enzo Fernandez – 7/10

Great ball to Alvarez that led to the penalty, also defended fairly well. He also was busy trying to deal with Modric and Brozovic, but like De Paul, he did well to just do enough to maintain the midfield and avoid them breaking.

Leandro Paredes – 7.5/10

Was a rock in the midfield, he had three tackles, two clearances, and one interception in the first half. Smart in his positioning, and was the best player in the midfield until he came off in the 60th minute.

Alexis Mac Allister – 6.5/10

He was decent in the midfield but sometimes struggled to be able to get the pass off in the final third. Lost possession nine times, but still ran his heart out. Came off in the 85th.

Lionel Messi – 9/10

Messi magic once again. A master of finding those pockets, he was dancing through defenders. Excelled at drawing players out, creating space and threading a ball to exploit it. Even if its just switching the flanks, every time Messi is on the ball, Argentina looked like they could flip a switch and threaten Croatia. Destroyed the, arguably, defender of the tournament in Gvardiol in the build up to the third, and almost got himself a second after a clever one-two with Fernandez. A Mercurial Messi Masterpiece, indeed.

Read More: Argentina’s Strengths and Weaknesses

Julian Alvarez – 8.5/10

Probably second best player for Argentina behind Messi, he loved to dash through the defense and feed off those line-breaking balls, which is what led to him drawing the penalty. He also did extremely well in running at the defense and exploiting those small pockets of space, as shown with his  tunning (albeit slightly lucky) second goal. Came off in the 73rd minute before he could complete his hattrick

Lisandro Martinez – 6/10 (60’ sub)

Came on to shore up the defense, and did his job to repel any attacks alongside Romero and Otamendi.

Paulo Dybala – 6/10 (73’ sub)

Came on for the goal scorer in Alvarez, and did well to just maintain possession and progress the ball forward to alleviate pressure off the defense in the last 15 minutes.

Exequiel Palacios – 6/10 (73’)

Came on to strengthen that midfield line defensively, did a decent job at it as well. Kept possession, made a tackle and interception, and drew a foul to break the game down until the end.

Juan Foyth – 6/10 (86’)

Came on for the last little bit for Molina, and also did well into just progressing the ball down the flank to alleviate pressure and kill time, while maintaining his defensive shape.

Angel Correa – 6/10 (86’)

Came on most likely to get some minutes in, and to help slow the game down while also being able to sprint through the lines and get a fourth if required. Solid cameo at the end.

Embed from Getty Images