Lionel Messi injury update: Latest on left hamstring issue for Argentina captain ahead of World Cup final

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Argentina have advanced to the World Cup final after beating Croatia 3-0, with Lionel Messi and Julian Alvarez providing the heroics in front of goal.

As they get set to face France in the biggest match the sport has to offer, there is one critical injury situation to follow.

A 35-year-old Lionel Messi, one of the greatest to ever play the game, appeared to struggle with a nagging injury early in the semifinal against Croatia. While he went on to put on a stunning 90-minute performance, his early discomfort is something to keep an eye on moving forward.

The Sporting News brings you all the latest regarding Messi's fitness status ahead of the 2022 World Cup final.

MORE: A full minute-by-minute recap of Messi's stunning performance against Croatia in the World Cup semifinal

What is Lionel Messi's injury?

Argentina star Messi looked to be grabbing at his left hamstring early in the World Cup semifinal match against Croatia.

Messi shook off the injury to produce one of the greatest World Cup performances in recent memory, scoring a goal and another. He appeared to wave off requests from the sideline regarding his status, and provided a sensational 90 minutes of skill and vision.

Hamstring strains can be a real nuisance, lasting in severity from a few days to months. Given the incredible performance Messi put in against Croatia, it's extremely unlikely that Messi has anything serious.

MORE: A further breakdown of the moment Messi grabbed his hamstring against Croatia

Lionel Messi injury update

Lionel Scaloni opted to leave Messi on the pitch for the full 90 minutes, despite leading 3-0 with 20 minutes left to play, and concerns over his potential injury.

Messi was asked about concerns over his fitness, after scooping the Player of the Match award at full time, and he insisted it is not a major issue.

"I feel really good, I feel strong and ready to play each game", he said.

"It’s not easy as we arrived tired but the group gained strength again and we played a strong game vs Croatia. I am enjoying this a lot. I feel very happy at this World Cup, and I am able to help the squad."

Will Messi play World Cup final?

Considering the way Messi tore Croatia to shreds, potentially on one leg, there's almost no chance he would be kept out of the World Cup final. Especially now, considering that Messi is the Golden Boot leader, tied with Kylian Mbappe on five goals and ahead on the assists tiebreaker.

Messi's own admission appears to reduce fears over a possible absence from the final but his training time will be managed in the coming days.

Scaloni has relied heavily on his talisman, with five full games played in Qatar, including extra time and penalties in the quarterfinal win over the Netherlands, and he could be granted a break ahead of the final.

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Kyle Bonn is a soccer content producer for The Sporting News.