Lionel Messi reached the pinnacle of his career last year when he won the coveted World Cup trophy. 36 years after Diego Maradona had guided Argentina to World Cup glory, Messi finally got the third title for the Argentines. In what was probably the best World Cup final of all time, Argentina defeated France on penalties. However, Lionel Messi’s fairytale World Cup story could have ended much earlier.
Argentina was on a 36-match unbeaten run when they faced Saudi Arabia in the opening fixture of the World Cup. However, in what was the upset of the tournament, Saudi Arabia won the match 2-1.
The result of the match put the Argentines under immense pressure in the following two group-stage matches. The South American giants were almost on the brink of exiting the World Cup against Mexico in their second group-stage clash.
In what was a very tough match, neither Argentina nor Mexico managed to break the deadlock. However, during the 64th minute, up stepped Messi who scored a scintillating goal from outside the box. The goal sent the Argentine players and the fans into delirium, as it kept their hopes of winning the World Cup alive. Recently, after more than 8 months, Argentine midfielder Enzo Fernandez opened up about his feelings after the goal.
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During an interview with Diario Ole, Enzo Fernandez was asked about the goal after which he shouted the most. He replied, “The goal I shouted the most? Messi’s goal against Mexico.” Moreover, the Chelsea star also scored his first international goal against Mexico. Fernandez scored a curling shot into the top corner of the net following a pass from Messi.
Lionel Messi had branded the Mexico clash as the toughest in the World Cup 2022
Argentina’s World Cup 2022 campaign featured some of the most nerve-wracking soccer matches ever seen. The Argentines lost the opening match against minnows Saudi Arabia. They almost conceded a goal in the dying moments against Australia in the round of 16. Messi’s side also barely scraped through the quarterfinals against the Netherlands before the dramatic final against France.
Lionel Messi: “I think the toughest game we played in the World Cup was against Mexico.” pic.twitter.com/4z7K4zJPCw
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Yet, for Lionel Messi, none of these matches were as tough as Argentina’s clash against Mexico. Speaking in an interview a few months ago, Messi said, “The match with Mexico was the most difficult because of everything that was at stake.” The Inter Miami star also revealed that the Argentines put up one of their worst-ever performances against the Mexicans due to the match’s do-or-die nature.