Lionel Messi scored a hat-trick against Ecuador to hand Argentina their World Cup ticket, and says it’d be unimaginable for his country to miss a slot in the global football tournament.
Manchester City are said to be preparing a world-record £357m for the Argentine.
Known for disappointing his countrymen when they needed him most, Messi surprisingly carried the Argentine team on his thin shoulders.
Argentina needed a win to avoid elimination but were demoralized when their opponents scored in the opening minute. The match ended 3-1 thanks to three goals from the Barcelona ace.
“There was always the fear of coming here to play. Luckily, we could react and we managed to play well,” the famous No. 10 said in a post-match interview. ”
“We were calm, we achieved the goal and that is the most important thing. Thanks to God, we fulfilled the objective.
“It would have been crazy not to be in the World Cup. The group deserved to qualify.”
Speaking about Messi, Argentina and the World Cup, Jorge Sampaoli, who led the national team in their last campaign said, “I told the group that Messi does not owe Argentina a World Cup, but rather football owes the world to him. The nationality of the best player in the world is luckily Argentine.
“Football, the World Cup, could not be left without Messi.
“We had to play with that in mind. As a consequence of that pressure, we are stronger now, this qualification will make us stronger to face the future.
“We had the possibility to help him to be in another World Cup. He is the best player in the history of soccer and I’m very excited to be in a group near him.”
Messi’s teammate and close friend Luis Suarez also scored twice for Uruguay in their 4-2 win against Bolivia.