The Paris Saint-Germain ace delivered the goods for his country at the point when he was needed the most on Saturday night
Lionel Messi produced two moments of inspiration to lift Argentina to a 2-0 win over Mexico at the ongoing FIFA World Cup in Qatar.
Messi scored one and assisted the other to drag Argentina back from the edge of elimination and powered them to their first win of the tournament.
Argentina suffered a rude shock in their opening Group C match when the reigning Copa America champions fell to an unexpected 2-1 defeat to Saudi Arabia. Messi netted a first-half penalty in that encounter to raise his World Cup record to seven goals.
Another loss to Mexico at the Lusail Stadium on Saturday would have ended Argentina’s hopes of lifting the World trophy and sent the South Americans on an early journey back home.
And Mexico appeared ready to spoil the party for Messi and co as they kept the title favourites at bay during the opening half.
Argentina needed a moment of pure magic to unlock the stubborn Mexican defence, and it finally came from the boots of their little magician just past the hour mark.
Stationed at the edge of the Mexico area, Messi received a pass from Angel Di Maria before driving a wicked effort into the bottom corner for the opener.
The legendary forward then laid on the pass for Enzo Fernandez to double Argentina’s lead shortly before the full-time whistle.
Nigerians applaud Messi’s masterclass
Several Nigerian football fans are among the many worldwide who consider Messi the greatest player of all time, GOAT.
And in reacting to Messi’s brilliant goal, many Nigerians were quick to point out that it is in such moments that the former Barcelona icon reinforces their belief that he has no equal in the game.
Below are some of their reactions:
“That’s the reason why Messi remains GOAT …Messi Fc all the way!..what a goal!…drop some love for ur favorite.. Argentina give us hot.” – King James
That's the reason why Messi remains GOAT …Messi Fc all the way!..what a goal!…drop some love for ur favorite ❤️.. Argentina give us hot🔥🔥 pic.twitter.com/cxtQMiCdQH— king James👑 (@james74227) November 26, 2022
“Goal from outside the box, na why we dey call am GOAT.” – Mbah
Goal from outside the box , na why we dey call am GOAT 🐐— MBAH (@Mbahdeyforyou) November 26, 2022
Messi is the One.— Mo-Mo💙 (@Morris_Monye) November 26, 2022
When you see Lionel Messi with that Budweiser trophy for today’s game, rest assured it wouldn’t be a popularity contest gift!— JJ. Omojuwa (@Omojuwa) November 26, 2022
When his country needed him the most, LIONEL ANDRE MESSI stepped up a delivered a goal and assist to ensure that Argentina won 2-0— H A R R I S O N (@mornyharrisonn) November 26, 2022
The Greatest Player Of All Time 🐐 pic.twitter.com/eVScdMCp10
Following the victory over Mexico, Argentina now boast three points to go second behind Poland (4 points) in Group C.
A win over Poland in their last group game will see Messi and his teammates qualify for the Round of 16.