Following Wednesday’s 2-0 victory over Poland that helped Argentina advance to the World Cup Round of 16, Lionel Messi said that Diego Maradona would be “super happy.”
With his 22nd appearance, Messi surpassed his legendary compatriot, who passed away just over two years ago, as the player with the most caps for his nation during the tournament.
“I only recently became aware of it. Being able to keep setting these kinds of records is a pleasure. Diego always showed me a lot of love and was always delighted when things went well for me, so I believe he would be extremely happy for me “Messi said.
The Argentina captain claimed he was “happy” with this “big match” despite missing a penalty, marking his 39th career miss from the line.
After a disastrous start—a shocking 2-1 loss to Saudi Arabia—Messi said, “We achieved our first objective, which was to get out of the group.”
“I was really disappointed to have missed the penalty because I knew a goal could change the entire game and alter how you play. However, I believe that the team improved as a result of the penalty I missed.
Argentina are moving up through the gears at the ideal time, according to Messi, who still needs to win the World Cup to solidify his legacy as one of the sport’s greatest players.
“Everything went our way after the first goal. We recommenced doing what we had attempted to do since the start of the World Cup but had failed to accomplish for a number of reasons.
“The fact that we were able to do it today gives us hope for the future.”
Argentina’s first match of the round of 16 is against Australia on Saturday.
“We are aware that everything will be very difficult right now. That it will be challenging whoever the foe. We recently learned the hard way that any foe can play a good game and win.”