What Lionel Messi Shouted To Argentina Bench In Last Minute Of Nigeria Win
Lionel Messi led Argentina to the World Cup knockout stages after a late, late show to beat Nigeria - and footage of what he told the bench in the last minute has circulated.
The five-time Ballon d'Or winner opened his 2018 World Cup account with one of the goals of the tournament for the opener, superbly controlling Ever Banega's long pass with two glorious touches and then picking out the far corner with his right foot.
Nigeria equalised when Victor Moses coolly converted a penalty after Javier Mascherano was guilty of shirt-pulling and wrestling in his box from a corner, just after half-time.
Again, Argentina were below par but the most unlikely of heroes stepped up the plate, Marcos Rojo trudging up from the back to superbly volley home a winner four minutes from time and send Argentina into pandamonium.
Jorge Sampaoli's side held on for the remaining mates to qualify for the next stage, with news filtering through that Croatia had beaten Iceland in the other game in Group D.
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In a clip doing the rounds as we approached the 90th minute, Messi was told by the bench that the Iceland game had finished in Rostov and that let the Barcelona star and the rest of his teammates know that they were almost over the line.
Minuto 89:37. Messi se acerca al banco y pregunta si Croacia Islandia ya había terminado. Jajaja. Está en todo. pic.twitter.com/NeWnStWRxe- Sebastian Garcia (@SebaHGarcia) June 27, 2018
Four minutes of stoppage time were added on by the Albicelestes held on to finish second in the group and set up a last 16 meeting with France.
Messi, meanwhile, had been involved in a discussion with the bench a few minutes earlier when Sampaoli had asked his star man whether or not he should bring on Sergio Aguero as the team pushed for a goal.
That, coupled with Messi leading the half-time team talks, tells you all you need to know about his importance to the national team.
Sampaoli asking Messi whether or not he should bring on Agüero last night, and Messi conducting team talks at half-time motivating players to just go for it (as Rojo explained post-match). Leader and coach. Don't let the 'Messi isn't a leader' narrative fool you. It's BS.- Dharma Bhagalia:goat: (@Kloppholic) June 27, 2018