Lionel Messi put Argentina 1-0 up in the crunch clash against Mexico and it meant so much to him.
La Albiceleste needed to respond after their shock opening game defeat to Saudi Arabia but Lionel Scaloni's side weren't quite at the races at the Lusail Stadium despite ringing five changes.
After being frustrated by Mexico for large spells, it took a bit of magic from Argentina's talisman to break the deadlock in the 63rd minute.
Messi broke free on the edge of the area and smashed in a low strike past Guillermo Ochoa. It was his second goal of this tournament and the eighth he has scored across five World Cup campaigns.
There was pure elation from Messi when he found the net and he raced away towards the rabid fans as his teammates mobbed him.
The eruption of noise that sounded out as the ball went in is something that only happens when the seven-time Ballon d'Or winner does his thing on the biggest stage.
Messi has now scored the same amount of World Cup goals as the late Diego Maradona, the pint-sized Argentine No.10 who came before him.
Maradona led Argentina to the World Cup in 1986 in Mexico and Messi will be hoping to replicate his heroics 36 years on in what will likely be his final tournament.
Messi's long wait for an international trophy came to an end in 2021 when Argentina won the Copa America and the World Cup would undoubtedly cap off an incredible career.
Enzo Fernandez doubled Argentina's lead with a stunning curling effort from a Messi assist late on as the South American giants started to find their groove.
Featured Image Credit: ITV
- Lionel Messi scores just three minutes into friendly against Cristiano Ronaldo
- Lionel Messi lifting weights 'for the first time' has stunned fans, it looks so strange
- Lionel Messi reacts to his most iconic goals, he's so casual about it all
- Fans stunned after hearing Lionel Messi speak English 'for the first time'