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FIFA World Cup: How Lionel Messi Strategised Stunning Goal Against Mexico With Argentina Teammates

Cometh the hour, cometh the man! With Argentina needing a victory against Mexico to boost their Round of 16 qualification hopes, Lionel Messi rose to the occasion and hammered a beautiful goal from outside the penalty box to give his team a 1-0 lead. Messi’s stunning strike has earned plenty of plaudits from fans all over the world. Angel di Maria, the man credited with the assist for Messi’s incredible goal, has now opened up on how the Argentina captain strategised the goal, having found a loophole in the way Mexico were defending against his team.

Argentina were struggling to create quality chances against the Mexicans until Messi’s stunner opened the gates. Later, Enzo Fernandes put in a curling shot from the left corner of the penalty box to secure a 2-0 win for the team.

Opening up on the Messi goal, Di Maria said that his delivery to the 7-time Ballon d’Or winner was a “turd” but he made the best use of it, like he always does.

“I threw him a turd, but he always finds solutions to everything,” the former Real Madrid star was quoted as saying by La Nacion. “What matters is that the ball got to him.”

Di Maria further revealed that Messi himself saw the opportunity to expose a defensive frailty in Mexico’s plan. He asked his teammates to give him the ball in a certain situation to score. When that situation came, the Argentina captain put the ball in the back of the net.

“We had spoken a minute before [the goal],” Di Maria said. “He said they were dropping deep, narrow, inside [the area] and so the space in front of them would appear, to try to give it to him there. I waited for that moment to appear and gave it to him. And he scored a tremendous goal. I don’t have words any more. I have had the chance to play with the best player in the world at club level, and for 14 years with the national team, and for me Leo is everything.

“We had planned this,” Di Maria continued at the end of a long, exhausting night. “We knew the first 45 minutes would be very complicated. Mexico knew a draw might be OK because their last game is against Saudi Arabia and they could get their win there. We knew the second half would open up, and that’s the way it was.”

The group stage task isn’t all over for Messi and Argentina yet. They still have a game against Poland left. A victory over the Robert Lewandowski-led side woud ensure La Albiceleste’s progression into the knockouts. A defeat would mean curtains for their campaign.

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