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Argentina player ratings as Messi and Alvarez secure World Cup final berth

Argentina have secured a place in the World Cup final for the sixth time as they overpowered Croatia in the Lusail semi-final.

LUSAIL CITY, QATAR - DECEMBER 13: Julian Alvarez of Argentina celebrates with Lionel Messi after scoring his 2nd and team 3rd goal during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 semi final match between Argentina and Croatia at Lusail Stadium on December 13, 2022 in Lusail City, Qatar. (Photo by Sebastian Frej/MB Media/Getty Images)
Sebastian Frej/MB MediaGetty

Argentina are through to the final of the 2022 World Cup where Lionel Scaloni’s men will face the winners of Wednesday’s second semi-final as France face Morocco.

Two goals from Man City City striker Julian Alvarez added to a Leo Messi first half penalty and was enough to end Croatian resistance as the PSG striker offered a truly dazzling display.

Emiliano Martinez

A solid performance from the Albiceleste stopper who was rarely troubled by the Croatia attack who mustered just two shots on target throughout the semi-final. Showed more of the confidence that made him the hero after the quarter-final penalty shoot-out against the Netherlands.

Nahuel Molina

A solid display on the right flank with the Atletico Madrid man also helping out as Argentina launched wave after wave of attack on the Croatia goal.

Nahuel MOLINA of Argentina
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Nahuel MOLINA of Argentina Anthony DibonGetty

Christian Romero

As per the rest of the World Cup, lacking final precision in his delivery but exuding confidence with the ball. One of two Argentina players to be carded throughout the semi-final.

Nicholas Otamendi

Another commanding performance from the Benfica defender who has grown into the tournament. The veteran defender adding a contagious confidence to his team-mates and the only blot on his night was the yellow card towards the end of the game.

Nicolas Tagliafico

A massive performance from Tagliafico on the left flank covering for the suspended Acuña. Plenty of energy from the Olympique Lyon player who will hope to make the Argentina starting XI for the final.

Rodrigo DePaul

Another player who has improved as the tournament has evolved with memories of lackluster performances against Saudi Arabia and Mexico a thing of the past. He returned to his best with passing precision, impeccable positioning and his game management.

Rodrigo De Paul of Argentina
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Rodrigo De Paul of Argentina Matthew Ashton - AMAGetty

Leandro Paredes

He contributed sacrifice for the recovery and in general he was precise in the distribution of the game. He was replaced when Scaloni decided to reinforce the defense with the inclusion of Lisandro Martínez.

Enzo Fernandez

After a slow start at Lusail, Fernandez grew as Argentina managed to ride the early wave of Croatian domination. The Benfica man provided the pass for Julián Álvarez with the move leading to penalty and opening goal for the Albiceleste.

Alexis MacAllister

The Brighton midfielder is being touted by many as one of the player’s of this World Cup and the former Argentinos Juniors man linking well in the centre of the park and almost capped off the night with a goal.

Lionel Messi

Despite concerns that the PSG striker was nursing a hamstring problem, Messi dazzled the Lusail Stadium with a goal from the spot and an assist for the third goal in a move that was vintage Leo as he toyed with Croatian defender Gvardiol. Was at the heart of this historic win for Argentina.

Alvarez celebrates with Lionel Messi
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Alvarez celebrates with Lionel Messi Ian MacNicolGetty

Julian Alvarez

Two goals from the Manchester City striker, one powering the ball into the six-yard box after a long run and the other appearing at the right time to tap home from great work and a Messi assist. Proved to be a menace for the Croatian rear-guard and always threatened when on the ball.

Lisandro Martinez

A second half substitute for Paredes and looked solid repelling the aerial threat offered by Croatia.

Exequiel Palacios

Replaced the tiring De Paul and took little time to adjust to the rhythm of the game and was always looking to create space in the centre of the park.

Paulo Dybala

The AS Roma player replaced Alvarez for his first minutes of the 2022 World Cup and showed plenty of desire to impress.

Paulo Dybala second striker of Argentina and AS Roma
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Paulo Dybala second striker of Argentina and AS RomaNurPhotoGetty

Angel Correa

The Atleti player had limited time to impress coming on as a 86th minute substitute.

Juan Foyth

As per Correa, the Villarreal man had little to do in his four minutes of action.