Despite going a goal down in the very first minute of their game against Ecuador, Argentina qualified for the World Cup in Russian Federation, thanks largely to a heroic performance from Lionel Messi. There is the chance that both Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo could miss out on the 2018 FIFA World Cup although both scenarios seem nearly impossible to imagine they are a possibility.
Prior to finding the back of the net not once, not twice, but three times on Tuesday evening, Messi and Argentina notably found themselves down 1-0 early.
"There was always the fear of coming here to play".
There were songs, some with rude references to reporters who had questioned the players, and Messi ended his self-imposed media ban and addressed Argentinian reporters for the first time in nearly a year.
Argentina has been one of the most disappointing national teams in the world, now sixth in the CONMEBOL region with 25 points. Luckily, we could react and we managed to play well. It was all true until Messi stepped up and saved Argentina.
Argentina desperately needs to get the three points from the game to qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup and should provide a highly entertaining match in Quito. As we celebrate this phenomenal victory, here is a look at the top 5 most memorable hat-tricks scored by Messi. But coach Jorge Sampaoli still has a lot to fix in a squad that nearly made Argentina miss a World Cup for the first time in 48 years.
"Let's hope we get a chance (to put the ghosts of the last World Cup to rest)". France Football have just announced the 30-man shortlist for the Ballon d'Or with voting not due to close until November.
The Daily Mail reported that Monaco captain Falcao appeared to "gently push one player over to his nearby team mates to pass on a message". However, Cristiano Ronaldo ended up winning it after voting was extended from November 15 to 29, on account of the fact Federation Internationale de Football Association had received "a response of less than 50% from eligible voters before the original deadline".
Do you think Argentina could go on to win the 2018 World Cup?
Ronaldo's late heroics were crucial to him winning the coveted award.