The Catalan once again delivered in a do or die game for his country.
Argentina qualified for the 2018 World Cup thanks to their star man Lionel Messi. Following the important 1-3 win over Ecuador, Jorge Sampaoli could not hide his satisfaction as he praised highly his No 10.
Before their final game, Argentina recorded three consecutive draws, which saw them take the 6th place in the CONMEBOL group – a spot that does not secure qualification. However, Lionel Messi became Argentina’s savior, single-handedly sending his team to the World Cup after an outstanding performance packed with a hat-trick.
Even though Ecuador opened the score, Barcelona’s star equalized and even gave his team the lead before half-time, keeping Argentina’s hopes alive. Messi scored one more during the second half, wrapping up an important victory for his country with a result of 1-3.
Speaking after the game, Sampaoli insisted that the football world owes the Argentine star the World Cup: “Football owed Messi the World Cup. I told the group: Messi did not owe the World Cup to Argentina, but football owed the World Cup to Messi.” Sampaoli stated as quoted by Goal.
“We should help him to be in a new World Cup. I was very excited to be in a squad with him.”
“Argentina took a big step. I hope that with the preparation time we have, we can be competitive as we were today.”