When the hour comes, the man comes! With Argentina needing a win over Mexico to boost their hopes of qualifying for the Round of 16, Lionel Messi rose to the occasion, hammering in a beautiful goal from outside the box to put his team 1-0 ahead. Messi’s stunning goal has garnered praise from fans around the world. Angel di Maria, the man credited with assisting Messi’s incredible goal, has now revealed how the Argentina captain strategically planned the goal after finding a loophole in the way Mexico defended against his team.
Argentina struggled to create good chances against the Mexicans until Messi’s powerful goal opened the gates. Later, Enzo Fernandes scored a 2-0 win for the team with a flick from the left corner of the penalty area.
Opening up the Messi goal, Di Maria said his delivery to the 7-time Ballon d’Or winner sucked but he made the best of it like he always does.
“I threw a turd at him but he always finds a solution to everything,” the former Real Madrid star was quoted as saying by La Nacion. “The important thing is that the ball comes to him.”
Di Maria further revealed that Messi himself saw an opportunity to expose a defensive flaw in Mexico’s plan. He challenged his teammates to give him the ball in a certain situation in order to score. When this situation arose, the Argentina captain put the ball in the net.
“We had spoken a minute before [the goal],” Di Maria said. “He said they fell low, tight, inward [the area] and so the room would appear in front of them to try to give it to him there. I waited for this moment and gave it to him. And he scored a great goal. I am out of words. I had the chance to play with the best player in the world at club level and with the national team for 14 years and Leo is everything to me.
“We planned it,” Di Maria continued at the end of a long, tiring night. “We knew the first 45 minutes would be very complicated. Mexico knew a draw could be okay because their last game is against Saudi Arabia and they could win there. We knew the second half would be more open , And so it was.” .”
The group stage is not over for Messi and Argentina. They still have a game against Poland ahead of them. Victory over the side led by Robert Lewandowski would secure La Albiceleste a place in the knockout rounds. A defeat would spell the end of their campaign.
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