Lionel Messi admits Argentina’s victory over Mexico is a “weight off his shoulders” but manager Lionel Scaloni urges the maestro and fans to “enjoy” the World Cup because “the sun will shine, or whether you lose or not’
Lionel Messi admitted that it was a weight off his shoulders to regain control of Argentina’s destiny after leading his team to victory.
Messi scored the crucial opening goal in a 2-0 win against Mexico at the Lusail Stadium, helping the South Americans ease the pain of Tuesday’s humiliation against Saudi Arabia at the same venue.
“Given the defeat, we didn’t expect the days to be very long and we were eager to get the chance to turn it around,” said Messi. “We knew this was a critical game because if we didn’t win we were out and if we won we still had a chance.
Lionel Messi led Argentina to their first World Cup victory by beating Mexico 2-0
He had one of the main goals of his career to increase his team’s World Cup chances
“Luckily we won and it’s a weight off our shoulders, a cause for joy and peace of mind because it’s all up to us again.”
Messi broke the deadlock in the 64th minute with a lightning-fast shot and substitute Enzo Fernandez added another second in the final phase.
“The first half was difficult because of the situation and our need to win,” added Messi. “We couldn’t find any spot, we didn’t move the ball, but that was normal given the situation.
Everything was on the line, but in the second half we played our game. We have shown what we stand for. Possession, space between the lines, moving the ball closer to the penalty area and then the goal changed the game.
“We had to win to bring peace of mind and start over, do what we stand for again. To approach the match against Poland in a different way.’
After the match, the Argentine maestro admitted that it was a relief to have won
Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni urged supporters to slow down, step up the pressure and enjoy the World Cup, enjoy Messi and let the little maestro enjoy too.
“It’s a football game,” Scaloni said. ‘The feeling that you are playing more than a football match is not pleasant. And I do not share this opinion. We have to make adjustments. We should have more common sense.
“We will try to make them feel like this is a football game. Otherwise, the feeling we have every time we are faced with something like this will be relief. It’s hard to get people to understand that tomorrow the sun will shine whether you lose or not.
Argentina national coach Lionel Scaloni urged his fans and his fans to remember that it’s just a football game
“The most important thing is that you enjoy this World Cup. Messi must enjoy this World Cup. Argentinian fans would love to see him play. We have to keep our footing, play a different game, keep working, stay on this road.”
Scaloni hailed the 35-year-old as the best in the world. “We’ve known for many years,” said the Argentinian boss. “It’s great to see them all play. If you don’t feel identified with this team, it’s because you don’t want to.
‘We played well. They leave everything behind on the pitch and the way they represent their country is key, what it means to play for these colours, this jersey.
“They faced a very tough game against a great opponent and with a great responsibility on their shoulders. I am very proud of all my players and excited about what they have done.’
The manager also urged fans to relax, turn up the pressure and enjoy the World Cup
There is still work to be done. Argentina failed to qualify, but can win Group C by beating Poland on Wednesday.
“It’s going to be tough,” Scaloni said. “All teams play with different styles, but each team changes for us and not just because Messi is there, but because they fully respect Argentina.
This increases the difficulty of the match. We will win this game, that’s what we all want. And if not, we’ll bring our ‘A Game’ like we did today.’