Messi took his leader role seriously for Argentina and inspired his colleagues to keep believing in the World Cup qualification.
Argentina left if very late for their qualification to the upcoming World Cup in Russia next summer. With one match remaining, Sampaoli’s side were out of the qualification spots, after failing to win against Peru in the second to last match (0-0).
However, that was the moment when Messi took his leader role seriously and delivered an inspiring speech to his teammates. Central defenfer German Pezzella revealed what Messi said to his colleagues after the draw against Peru.
“After the match with Peru, he was the first one that said in the changing rooms that we still have one bullet left and that we should use it, that there still are chances. This thing makes you keep pushing, it’s a plus that is coming from him. On the pitch, I was surprised by his positive attitude, but also his words before every match. He was certain that we are going to the World Cup, that everything will be fine if we will try and work hard“, Pezzella said according to AS.
In that last match, Messi scored a sensational hat-trick to basically drag his team to the World Cup. With the goals scored in the 12th, 20th and 62nd minute, Messi secured a finish for Argentina that ensured their presence in Russia next summer. The Argentinian fans hailed their hero, naming him the “best in history” for the days following that match.
Thanks to the hat-trick scored against Ecuador, Messi reached 61 goals scored for Argentina. He is the all-time leader of his national team. Barcelona’s forward has overtaken Batistuta over a year ago. Batistuta was, since 2002, the top goalscorer of his national team, with 54 goals.