Lionel Messi scored the opening goal in Argentina’s 2-1 win over Australia on Saturday, sending the country into the World Cup quarter-finals for the first time. Messi’s 789th goal in his 1,000th career appearance – but his first in the World Cup knockout rounds – helped set up a last-eight meeting with the unbeaten Netherlands on Friday. After some dreadful Australian defending, Julian Alvarez scored the other goal in the 57th minute, before Enzo Fernandez’s 77th-minute deflected own goal set up an unexpectedly tense finish.
A TV presenter showed Messi a video of his wife Antonella Roccuzzo and children (Thiago, Mateo, and Ciro) celebrating his first-half goal after the game. His expression was priceless.
Argentina’s players celebrated wildly in front of their adoring fans, and man-of-the-match Messi thanked them for dragging the team to victory.
“Amazing feelings,” said the 35-year-old, who is attempting to win the World Cup for the first time in what will almost certainly be his final attempt.
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“I know how much effort they put in to come here with us, and I know how much they enjoyed it.”
We have a bond that is beautiful, and it is what the national team should be.”