Messi Fires Argentina To 2018 World Cup

Oct 12, 2017, 00:37
Messi Fires Argentina To 2018 World Cup

Former Argentina striker Mario Kempes says the only people who would be happy to see Lionel Messi miss the World Cup are fans of Diego Maradona.

Argentina needed a win on the night to secure a place in Russian Federation next year, and thanks to the Barcelona man, their prayers were answered.

Messi's hat trick in Quito gave Argentina its first goals in open play since a 3-0 victory over Colombia in November 2016.

Speaking afterwards, Messi said: 'There was always the fear of coming here to play.

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There were songs, some with rude references to reporters who had questioned the players, and Messi ended his self-imposed media ban and addressed Argentinian reporters for the first time in nearly a year.

No Argentine national player apart from Messi has found the net for their country in over a year. Argentina needed him to pull them out of a deep, deep hole, and that's precisely what he did.

"The only ones who would be happy if Messi doesn't go to the World Cup would be Maradona fans because, that way, they can keep saying that he's the best".

Ecuador had already been eliminated from World Cup consideration before Tuesday's slate, but they had the opportunity to play spoiler.

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"Messi does not owe Argentina a World Cup, football owes Messi a World Cup. We have the chance to help, he is the best player ever".

In the 12th minute of the game, Messi scored his first goal and equalised for Argentina. France Football have just announced the 30-man shortlist for the Ballon d'Or with voting not due to close until November.

After his first worldwide hat-trick, Messi scored the next two triple goals in merely one and a half year.

Late interventions have of course swung voting before.

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And on November 19, Ronaldo, the Ballon d'Or incumbent, hit a hat-trick that propelled his side to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil courtesy of a 3-2 win over Sweden on the night and a 4-2 win on aggregate.

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