Lionel Messi: Argentina's World Cup win over Mexico 'a weight off our shoulders'

[27-11-2022 09:11 AM]

Ammon News - Lionel Messi said Argentina had lifted “a weight off our shoulders” with the 2-0 win against Mexico on Saturday night that breathed life back into their Fifa World Cup campaign.

Argentina, two-time champions, went into the Group C encounter knowing defeat at Lusail Stadium would eliminate the current Copa America holders.

Argentina began their bid for a third global title in hugely disappointing fashion on Tuesday, losing 2-1 to Saudi Arabia in one of the greatest upsets in World Cup history. Riding a 36-match unbeaten streak, Argentina were considered one of the favourites in Qatar.

On Saturday, Messi struck a 64th-minute opener to break the deadlock against Mexico, before Enzo Fernandez made safe the result three minutes from time.

“Today, Argentina's World Cup begins,” Messi said. “We lived with discomfort given the defeat in the opening match was something we didn’t expect.

“The days felt very long and we were eager to have the chance to turn it around. We knew it was a critical game. Luckily, we had the option to win and it was a weight off our shoulders, a reason for joy and peace of mind because it is all down to us again.”

Argentina will be guaranteed progression to the knockout stages if they defeat Poland on Wednesday. Earlier on Saturday, the Europeans registered a 2-0 win against Saudi Arabia.

Against Mexico, Messi tied Argentine World Cup winner Diego Maradona on both 21 matches and eight goals at a global finals. Friday marked two years since Maradona’s death, aged 60.

"I tell people the same thing, that they continue to believe.” Messi said. “Today we did what we had to do. We had no other choice. We had to win so that we depended only on ourselves.

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