Here are 5 things to know about Lionel Messi's World Cup: The Rise of a Legend documentary

Apple TV released its Lionel Messi documentary – Messi's World Cup: The Rise of a Legend – on the opening week of the 2024 MLS season.

Messi has been a vehicle for success for Apple TV since his arrival to Inter Miami last summer, and his latest documentary offers fans a behind-the-scenes glance at his crowning achievement (spoiler alert) winning at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

“It’s all about what a fan would want, getting on the inside and being able to feel what did Messi go through, what did it feel like when they lost, and the second guessing and the thoughts you have about your career, and everything,” Apple Senior Vice President Eddy Cue said during a meeting with MLS media before Inter Miami’s season opener this week.

Here are 5 things to know about Messi's World Cup: The Rise of a Legend on Apple TV.

How did Apple land Messi's World Cup documentary?

Messi and Apple came to an agreement to document Argentina’s World Cup run about three months before the tournament, thanks to an introduction by Inter Miami managing owner Jorge Mas.

This was before Mas signed Messi last summer to join Inter Miami and MLS, to which Cue said: “He had this dream of signing Messi, and I thought he was crazy. Crazy people do amazing things sometimes.”

“Sometimes, you get lucky,” Cue said of the arrangement.

Cue candidly shared similar feelings many Argentina fans experienced after they lost to Saudi Arabia in their first match at the World Cup while the documentary was being filmed.

“I thought it was a really cool idea. And then they lost to Saudi Arabia in the first game. I’m like ‘Oh my God, what an idiot. That was a smart move.’ And then it turns into one of the greatest sporting events,” Cue said.

“What he’s done given his career and everything, I don’t think it would have been completed the way he did it, and to be playing as the best player at that level and winning was amazing.

Argentina forward Lionel Messi kisses the World Cup Trophy after winning the 2022 World Cup final against France at Lusail Stadium in Qatar.
Argentina forward Lionel Messi kisses the World Cup Trophy after winning the 2022 World Cup final against France at Lusail Stadium in Qatar.

Did Lionel Messi play in his last World Cup?

Messi approached the tournament experience like it was his last World Cup. But there was one moment during the first episode where Messi said, “This could be my last World Cup.”

If Messi is fit, and wants to play for Argentina in 2026, he would be welcomed with open arms. But that’s a discussion for a later time. In the meantime, Messi appeared like he’s still in the prime of his career during his 2024 season opener with Inter Miami.

“I will be 36 in June, and due to age and timing, this will be my last World Cup,” Messi said in the documentary.

Messi’s World Cup documentary was about heartbreak before the joy

Apple did a great job showcasing every bout of adversity Argentina experienced at the 2022 World Cup with previous moments in Messi’s national career where he experienced heartbreak.

Among them: The failed Messi-Maradona pairing at the 2010 World Cup. Losing to Germany in the 2014 World Cup final. Falling to Chile in the 2015 Copa America final. Messi’s abrupt retirement after falling to Chile again in the 2016 Copa America Centenario final. And Argentina’s exit in the Round of 16 by France at the 2018 World Cup.

Each moment led to Argentina's inevitable World Cup win over France in 2022.

Messi’s battle against Mbappe, France is an important soccer moment

More than Argentina vs. France, the 2022 World Cup final was also about Lionel Messi vs. Kylian Mbappe – the soccer stars, who were teammates at Paris Saint-Germain at the time.

It could have been a match that passed the torch between two of the biggest names in soccer. More so, it could have been Mbappe snatching the crown as the world’s best player if he and France won their second straight World Cup days before his 24th birthday.

Instead, Messi showed his brilliance and received help from his Argentine teammates in the penalty shootout, leading to his crowning achievement.

Messi enjoyed being around his Argentina teammates

For card games in his hotel room to practices and bus rides, Messi thoroughly enjoyed spending time with his Argentine teammates.

As a result, Messi’s teammates played for him at the World Cup.

“It was important for us to help him crown his career,” Chelsea standout Enzo Fernández said. “The team always had the sense of wanting to win it for Leo, who had given so much to all Argentineans and to all our us as a team as well.”

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Messi's World Cup: The Rise of a Legend, here are 5 things to know