Former Reggae Boy Ricardo Fuller is delighted by Argentina's claim of its third FIFA World Cup, describing the tournament as "tremendous".
Fuller, known for his technical ability and trickery on the ball as a player, has said his playing style is modelled on that of the late Diego Maradona, who won the World Cup with Argentina in 1986. Fuller also said he has been a supporter of the Argentina team since he was four years old.
He says this year's tournament not only lived up to his expectations but surpassed them.
"In spite of all the politics and social activism related to the tournament, when you look at the results from the 'not so strong teams', with all due respect, beating the very strong teams, the stadiums, the atmosphere, the energy, low instances of crime and hooliganism, it's a massive success," he told the Jamaica Observer.
Although Fuller was six years old when Argentina won its previous title in 1986, he says he does not have any memories of the final, so it was special for him to see the team victorious against France on Sunday.
France overturned a 2-0 lead to take the game to extra time, then took the game to a penalty shoot-out after finding another equaliser to end extra time at 3-3. But Argentina won the shoot-out 4-2. Many have described the game as the greatest final ever played, while some have gone further to say it was the greatest game of football ever played. Fuller agrees with the latter statement.
"There's nothing like this World Cup," he said. "In general, it was the best game of football I've ever seen, let alone the World Cup final. I couldn't take my eyes off the TV. The emotion and passion were all over the place, unbelievable game of football."
One of the major talking points of this tournament was whether Captain Lionel Messi would secure a legacy as the greatest of all time (GOAT), if he wins the world title, having won everything else available to him in his career.
But Fuller jokes that Messi is even greater than a GOAT.
"For me, he's not even a GOAT," he said, "as his name suggests — 'LION-el'. Why'd you wanna be a GOAT when you're already a lion?
"Don't forget, this kid has been breaking records since he was about 18 years old. He's been consistent for the better part of two decades.
"That's what you get from special. They say practice and get better but practice becomes permanent, permanent becomes consistent, and consistent becomes special. He's special because he's consistent, he and Cristiano Ronaldo. But he's put away the doubts in everyone's minds — I didn't have any, I support Argentina, I supported Maradona, I support Lionel Messi, but if anybody has any doubts, he's put them away because you can't win anything better than the World Cup and they've done it in style — sweat, blood, and tears."
Fuller says Jamaica's Reggae Boyz can take some motivation from seeing the lesser favourite teams pull off upsets if they are serious about qualifying for the 2026 edition, which will be played in Canada, the United States of America, and Mexico.
"Whenever you're playing football, you have to believe you can beat any and everybody because that's the way football is," he said. "Why go into a football match and think you're going to lose? You stand no chance then. Football is about confidence, quality, speed, energy, being brave, enthusiastic, and playing with quality. If you have that and play to your strengths, then you always have a chance."
But Fuller says it will take a collective effort of all stakeholders, not just the players on the team, to believe in the ability of the national programme to make a mark during the next World Cup campaign.