Undoubtedly the Argentine player everyone will remember from their winning World Cup run will be Lionel Messi, a run that would not have happened without Tottenham defender Cristian Romero.
Messi has been one of the best players in the world for well over a decade and is recognized globally. At the club level, Messi has won everything possible. Messi has won numerous league titles, four UEFA Champions League titles, and three FIFA Club World Cup titles. But it was until recently that he reached the pinnacle of success at the senior international level. A big reason for Argentina making this final step and a big part of the World Cup victory on Sunday is Tottenham defender Cristian Romero.
Argentina has three major titles in recent history, and so does Tottenham defender Romero
First, Argentina won the Copa America in July, with Romero contributing to three wins, including the final over Brazil, despite a knee injury limiting his availability. Then Argentina won the CONMEBOL-UEFA Cup of Champions 0-3 over Italy early this year. Now, Argentina is World Cup Champions, and Romero was central to the run to glory.
A significant factor in Argentina getting over the hump has been the improved Argentina defense, with Romero at the heart of that movement.
First capped in June 2021, Romero has been a consistent piece of the side, except when injured. Romero has now been capped nineteen times by La Albiceleste and has won more trophies than he has lost games. Romero’s only loss as a member of Argentina was in the World Cup opening round upset by Saudia Arabia. Romero, returning from injury and only playing an hour, was a part of the reason Argentina lost.
After resting for most of the Mexico match, Romero grew fitter and firmer in his defense as the tournament progressed. Ultimately, Romero’s best game of the tournament was in the Final, where he was omnipresent defensively for La Selección, with nine clearances, a couple of interceptions, and one knockdown on Hugo Lloris.
The hope for Tottenham is that Romero can get fully healthy following the Cup and provide defensive solidarity over the last five months of the season. Now, if Romero can do for Harry Kane and Tottenham what he did for Messi and Argentina – put them over the top to win titles – we will see.