Lionel Messi vs Ecuador OR Cristiano Ronaldo vs Sweden

Thursday, 12 Oct, 2017

The second goal was his 20th all-time in World Cup qualifying for Argentina, leaving him as the first man in the region to reach that mark.

A major global winners' medal continues to elude Messi, who has gone through the heartbreak of losing two Copa America and one World Cup finals in the last three years.

But with Messi at his electrifying best, no nation will want to come up against La Albiceleste in Russian Federation. The supremely talented footballer was merely 19 years old when he turned heads with the phenomenal goals the biggest game of all, El Clásico.

"There was always the fear of coming here to play". We have some good young players come up.

Ronaldo produced an incredible individual display on that occasion in a World Cup play-off with Sweden.

While everyone is celebrating Messi's brilliance, there are some who were expecting him to fail. His second spectacular hat-trick performance was also witnessed in 2012 in the Argentina vs Brazil match played on June 9, 2012. But La Tri will still want to avenge their defeat from four years ago, when Argentina won in Quito.

In South America, as many as six teams - Uruguay, Chile, Colombia, Peru, Argentina and Paraguay - kicked-off their final encounters knowing they could still secure one of the automatic qualification places. All teams are within one goal of each other on goal differential.

The tweet has now been retweeted 2,300 times.

There were songs, some with rude references to reporters who had questioned the players, and Messi ended his self-imposed media ban and addressed Argentinian reporters for the first time in nearly a year.

There are no more words to describe his brilliance.

At a crucial moment, Argentina needed Messi to step in and avoid what could have been a humiliating exit. "We should not be staying home for this World Cup".

"The nationality of the best player in the world is luckily Argentine", Sampaoli told reporters. Let us know in the comments section below!