He demonstrated the commitment to the selection with facts and not with smoke: a clinic of soccer, leadership and pride that keeps Argentina in the race.
Proving that the leadership of a football team, as in life, is not demonstrated by blows of the chest, singing a hymn or with high-sounding words, Messi, with the captain’s bracelet, championed Argentina’s victory with numbers and facts: a Goal, direct free kick, two assists for the goals of the surprising Pratto and Di Maria, three yellows provoked and a control of the time of the match that maintains Argentina in the race for the World-wide one of Russia.
That Messi wanted was checked by the minute. Pekerman put Balanta ahead and, in the first action, instead of delaying the ball, the crack already measured. One against one. Balanta made two mistakes. One of a smack on the chest. Another after falling asleep after a robbery of the Barça player. Messi had legs and left for the center. He scored a one-two on the front and knocked him down. His foul kick was, to put it somehow, perfect. Messi hit the inside instep. Impossible for Ospina. He came to celebrate it with a terrible courage, plucking again those who make noise about his commitment to Argentina. If indeed in Argentina they watch their game every weekend, few can say that Messi runs both in the pressure and puts as much race as with his country. It is evidence.
The show continued. Gambeteos that despaired to the Colombians, card for Arias and, again of the center to the right, to dribble to Balanta and to look for Pratto, an unexpected guest that even improved the service of Messi with an impeccable, chopped shot. Changing the direction of the center and the left corner of the goal of Ospina. A goal. On the way to the break, Messi had time to provoke a yellow one, this one from Balanta, a cone before the Argentine, who could already be expelled. His influence on the party was gigantic. Everything that happened in the match was for Messi.
With the wind of the party in favor, Messi did not boast in the second half. Two fabulous runs in the second half, one of them wasted by Di Maria with a shot that went outside the goal of Ospina. Another yellow caused to Square, one more. And the ultimate delirium. He started with a heel action in which the ball seemed lost. He went for him and led him looking for Ospina. When everyone bet that he would seek personal glory, he closed the game with an assistance to Di Maria and San Juan given to the most unique footballer that has seen in a long time. What a spectacle, Messi.