Adam Miller of Twitter's @Oldfirmfacts1 looks at Lionel Messi's World Cup triumph and recalls the bizarre transfer story that nearly sent him to Govan...

Former Rangers target Lionel Messi has won the World Cup. 

Messi, who almost joined the Scottish club on loan in 2004, scored twice as Argentina beat France on penalties in Sunday's World Cup Final. 

As fans flooded into Qatar's Lusail Stadium, the question on everyone's lips was 'can the man who failed to score against Allan McGregor at Ibrox in 2007 finally prove he's capable of doing it on the big occasion?'

The answer, unlike Barcelona's response to Rangers boss Alex McLeish in 2004, was a resounding 'yes'. 

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Speaking to The Big Interview, McLeish said: "Rangers were downsizing and we were looking for some quality in midfield.

“Barry Ferguson had gone down to Blackburn so we lost a guy who would have taken the ball in any stadium anywhere in the world. We needed players of that ilk again.

The Herald: Few would have guessed 15 years ago that it would be the man on the right who ended up lifting the World CupFew would have guessed 15 years ago that it would be the man on the right who ended up lifting the World Cup (Image: PA Images)

“Jan Wouters phoned Henk ten Cate, who was the assistant of Frank Rijkaard, and said: ‘Messi?’

"We were told no chance.”

18 years on, lifting the World Cup may finally lay to rest the disappointment of not replacing Barry Ferguson in the Rangers midfield. 

Having scored the same amount of goals as Charlie Adam in October 2007's Rangers v Barcelona match, the Argentine forward finally settled the 'Messi v Charlie Adam' debate by lifting the World Cup, which the former Dundee man failed to achieve despite earning 26 Scotland caps. 

Messi's success came 14 years after his World Cup debut, the first of four unsuccessful attempts at winning the tournament.

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With his confidence at an all-time low, Messi received a pre-game pep talk from group stage opponent Jason Cummings on Instagram, who said: "Do the basics right Leo. Don't play the occasion, play the game. All the best, Cumdog." 

He tagged '@leomissi' in the message, to ensure the 35-year-old would see it before kick-off. 

Trophyless in his previous four World Cups, it appears those words from the October 2015 Scottish Championship Player of the Month made the difference. 

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Between Cummings' rallying cry, Messi's Ibrox learning curve and midfielder Alexis Mac Allister's ancestors from Fife, this World Cup win goes down as the finest moment in Scottish sporting history since Harry Kane's quarter-final penalty miss.

It was, however, a disappointing day for Kylian Mbappe, who famously scored against Celtic in 2017.