If you're just flicking on social media this morning, chances are you've already read a lot about Lionel Messi's heroics for Argentina, overnight.

The Diminutive number 10 fired home a sensational hat-trick to spare La Albiceleste's blushes and ensure they didn't miss out on their first World Cup since 1970.

Credit: Vivo

Argentina had fallen behind within the first 40 seconds of the game in Quito, thanks to a Renato Ibarra goal, but the five time Ballon D'or winner soon turned the game on its head as he single handedly dragged Jorge Sampaoli's side to next summer's World Cup in Russia.

Obviously, Messi's heroics were not going to go unnoticed, with social media erupting the second his third strike hit the back of the net.

And no one's tweets caught the eye more than Gary Lineker's, who seemed to get a little bit over excited by Messi's peformance.

And, while we're not sure that we needed to be presented with the horrific mental image of the Match Of The Day presenter starching his slacks, we got where he was coming from (not literally, mind you).

But the former Barcelona striker saved his most passionate response to Messi's performance for the hat-trick goal, notching up 15,000 retweets in the process.

Of course, the Greatest Of All Time title is completely subjective, but if Messi is to continue this form into next summer's tournament, there could be little anyone can do to stop him lifting his first World Cup, thus matching Diego Maradona's crowning achievement, in the process.

And with international honours to add to his multitude of winners' medals with Barcelona and his FIVE Ballon d'Ors, it'll be practically impossible to argue with Lineker's rating of the Argentina number 10.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Joe Baiamonte

Northerner. Assistant Editor of SPORTbible. Studied Journalism and Broadcasting in a portakabin on a car park of Salford University for three years. Believes football peaked with Serie A in the '90s and strong-arms pro wrestling references into as many articles as possible. Neymar once took 50 euros off me during a game of poker.

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