Messi sends Argentina to World Cup with hat-trick
Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi saved Argentina from World Cup relegation with a hat-trick. When Ecuador scored within the opening minutes of this final qualification match, it looked like defeat for Argentina.
It would be fair to say that Argentina have had a terrible campaign during the World Cup qualifiers. The only person playing well was Messi who time and time again supplied quality ball to his team mates who repeatedly failed to capitalize. Now down to sixth place with one match to go, Argentina were staring down the possibility of not participating in the greatest sporting event in the world. Fifth place plays New Zealand and sixth place is out.
One nil down in the match, the two-time world champs were in danger of missing the tournament for the first time since 1970. Step up Lionel Messi. He did what great players do and stepped up and produced the goods when it really mattered. Decades before, Maradona did the same for Argentina when he won the World Cup almost by himself. Great players lift their team to greatness, and Messi has certainly done this for his country. He took Argentina to the finals in the last World Cup and the finals in the last two Copa Americas. But not participating in this World Cup might have ruled out any chance of a World Cup for the 29 year old, (although he probably has one more campaign in him). And what is the World Cup without the greatest player in the world. Earlier, his rival Cristiano Ronaldo with Portugal qualified, and it would have been a shame for Messi not to be there.
We can all breath easy now. Not only are the two best players in this World Cup, but Messi now has a chance to win the most coveted trophy of all. If any player deserves to win it, Messi certainly does. Hopefully his team can step utp too.