World Cup 2022: Brazil legend Rivaldo backing arch-rivals Argentina to lift trophy

Argentina captain Lionel Messi celebrates after Argentina defeated Croatia 3-0 in the semi-finals of the FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar on 13 December, 2022.
(Image credit: Juan Mabromata/AFP via Getty Images)

Brazil icon Rivaldo has stunningly backed his country's arch-rivals Argentina (opens in new tab) to win World Cup 2022 (opens in new tab), claiming that 'God will crown' Lionel Messi a world champion on Sunday.

Argentina reached their sixth World Cup final by cruising past Croatia (opens in new tab) 3-0 in the semis on Tuesday, with Messi scoring and setting up his fifth and third goals of the tournament respectively.

The Albiceleste – who have the magical performances of their legendary captain, playing at likely his last World Cup, to thank for getting to the final – will face either France or Morocco as they look to win the trophy for the third time (the very first time in Messi's case).

Whatever happens, they'll have South American bragging rights after Brazil were knocked out in the quarter-finals on penalties by Croatia – but while millions of Brazilians will no doubt be willing on France (opens in new tab) or surprise package Morocco (opens in new tab), one of their previous World Cup winners seems to want their fierce foes to triumph.

Rivaldo – a member of Brazil's victorious 2002 squad – posted his support for Messi on Instagram on Tuesday.

A post shared by Rivaldo Ferreira (@rivaldo) (opens in new tab)

A photo posted by on

Messi has strongly hinted that Qatar 2022 will be the last World Cup of his career – and that's highly likely considering he'll be 39 by the time the next one rolls around.

Having made it to his second final, he'll be hoping to go one better than his previous appearance in the biggest match of all at Brazil 2014 – when Argentina lost 1-0 to Germany in extra time.

Argentina last won the World Cup back in 1986, when they were inspired by a similarly genius national hero: Diego Maradona.

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

Tom Hancock started freelancing for FourFourTwo in April 2019 and has also written for The Analyst and When Saturday Comes, among others. He supports Wycombe Wanderers and has a soft spot for Wealdstone. A self-confessed statto, he has been known to watch football with a spreadsheet (or several) open...