Talks over Lionel Messi’s impact for Argentina and why he did not bring the same level of success as he did for Barcelona appear to have been washed away finally by his performance against Ecuador with praise coming from all quarters.
Players, coach and the press all eulogised over his display in Quito where he hit all three goals in the 3-1 victory.
“HE IS THE BOSS OF THIS GAME”Barcelona teammate Javier Mascherano has never held back in his support and following the Ecuador
Barcelona teammate Javier Mascherano has never held back in his support and following the Ecuador match he was as emphatic as ever.
“Leo showed again that he is the boss of this game. When you are like that and you have that ability….it doesn’t matter the context. You have to help him.”
“FOOTBALL OWES HIM A WORLD CUP”
Jorge Sampaoli sang his praise when he faced Messi as a coach of Chile and Sevilla, and now on the same side he can enjoy the experience.
“The fact is that football owes him a World Cup and we have the chance to help him make this possible in Russia,” said Sampaoli.
“It would have been illogical that the most important tournament in the world doesn’t have Messi. Messi is the best player ever and this was a triumph for the players. In the group chat we said that we had to take Messi to the World Cup and fortunately that has happened.”
“THE BEST EVER WITHOUT DOUBT”
Mauro Icardi gave his opinion on Messi with a photo of himself alongside the hat-trick hero uploaded on social media and with the caption: “with the best ever without doubt.”
“THE DWARF WAS FANTASTIC”
Angel Di Maria also had a strong game against Ecuador and he explained: “the dwarf was fantastic as he was in the previous games.
“He is amazing, the best by a long way and it is down to him that Argentina are at the World Cup. We have to help him so that he plays how he can. We did that and for that reason he felt comfortable.
“WHEN WE NEED HIM HE APPEARS”
Argentine goalkeeper Sergio Romero: “Nobody argues with Messi. They want him to get 20 goals in a game which is not possible even for him who is the best in the world.
“When you need him he appears. He carried the team and was once against fantastic. We are proud of him and that he is Argentine.
THE PRESS: “ON A PAR WITH GOD”
The Argentine press unsurprisingly had Messi on their front covers with Ole’s headline particularly striking: On a par with God.”
THE FACT THAT REFLECTS MESSI DEPENDENCY
While some felt that a performance such as that against Ecuador was necessary to prove himself for Argentina, there is also a statistic which stands out and that is that since November 2016 no other player has scored for the Albiceleste in an official game.