Lionel Messi Saves Argentina’s World Cup Hopes With Amazing Free-Kick Goal
Lionel Messi and “amazing” are used in the same sentence quite often. He’s one of the most talented footballers in the world. However, every so often, you have to come up with another word to describe the Argentine with the golden foot.
That’s what we have to do tonight: find a word to describe Messi after he delivered one of the most incredible free-kick goals you will see in your life against Colombia.
Not only does he put the ball in the “upper 90,” but he essentially puts it in the only corner where the keeper can’t make the save. Absolutely brilliant.
It was a huge goal as well for Messi. The goal helped Argentina on its way to beating Colombia, 3-0, with whom it is competing for a spot in the World Cup. It would be unprecedented for Argentina to miss the World Cup, but they are staring that possibility straight in the face.
In South America, at least four and as many as five teams will qualify for the World Cup. Before play Tuesday night, Argentina was in sixth in the region with an overall record of 4-4-3, according to ESPN FC. However, Colombia was ahead of them at 5-3-3, and now trails Argentina 19 points to 18.
Under FIFA scoring rules, a win is worth three points, a draw is worth one point, and a loss is worth zero points. So, the Argentine win was a potential six-point swing in the standings and brought some hope for the country that is normally a fixture in the World Cup.
This isn’t the first time Messi has pulled off a goal like this either. He scored on an almost identical free kick against the United States at a Copa America game in Houston.
So, it’s safe to say Messi practices this shot a decent amount when he’s not playing. To have that kind of accuracy on multiple occasions is absurd. That’s what makes him one of the best players in the world. It’s also refreshing to see him succeeding on the international stage.
After a tough loss to Chile on penalty kicks in the Copa America final, Messi announced he would retire from international soccer. Of course, based on his skill level and his love for his home country, he quickly reconsidered that decision and decided to continue playing for Argentina going forward.
He clearly took the loss to Chile particularly hard given the fact that he missed a penalty kick in one of the biggest moments of his career in that game. He was crying as he left the pitch.
Which makes it that much sweeter that his left foot provided a little more magic for supporters of Argentina as they gathered their collective breath, wondering if they would actually miss out on the World Cup in 2018. While there is still a long way to go, the road looks a whole lot easier now that they’ve jumped ahead on a couple nations on the table.
Without such a masterful goal, the reality could be setting in for Argentine soccer fans that their greatest hero’s international soccer legacy was coming to an end — for real this time. But with that powerful boot, he jolted hope back into the fan base that they will see him playing in Russia in 2018.
After seeing another strike like this, it seems only fitting that his international career come to an end on soccer’s biggest stage, in the waning years of his career, as he tries to capture something he has yet to bring home. Perhaps that golden foot of his still has a little bit of magic left in it after all.
If Messi is able to lead an Argentina squad, which looks overmatched internationally right now, to a World Cup title in two years, that word people use to describe him so often won’t be “amazing” anymore.
It will be “legendary.”
[Featured Image by Victor Caivano/AP Images]