Story By Mthokozisi Dube
IT is do or die for two of the world’s finest players, Lionel Messi and Luka Modric, who will face off when Argentina and Croatia clash in a FIFA World Cup semi-final in Qatar to be broadcast live on ZBC TV this evening.
A month of thrills, spills, and surprises best captures the 2022 FIFA World Cup and as the tournament reaches the climax, a semi-final clash between Argentina and Croatia is just what the doctor ordered as two of the best players of their generation come face to face.
It is probably no coincidence but confirmation of their iconic status that Messi and Modric are captaining their respective countries as they gun for glory.
A 3-nil demolition at the hands of Croatia during the 2018 World Cup will definitely be in the minds of South American giants Argentina, who have not lost a semi-final match in five appearances.
It will be a game to make history for both teams with Argentina bidding to reach the final of the World Cup for the sixth time, while Messi will equal Germany’s great Lothar Matthaus’ 25-match world cup tournament appearance record.
On the other hand, Croatia head coach Zlatko Dalic says advancing past Argentina to reach a second successive World Cup final would have to be considered his nation’s greatest footballing achievement.
Victory for Croatia will see them becoming only the second side after Germany in 2014 to eliminate both Brazil and Argentina in the knockout stages of the same World Cup.
The match kicks off at 9 pm.
The other semi-final match will be played this Wednesday when defending champions France face African representatives and surprise package Morocco.
The North Africans are walking with a spring in their step after eliminating European giants Spain and Portugal.