Wednesday 26 September 2018

Lionel Messi: I knew that God would not let us down

Marcus Rojo celebrates his dramatic late winner in Argentina’s 2-1 victory over Nigeria with Lionel Messi. Photo: AFP/Getty Images
Marcus Rojo celebrates his dramatic late winner in Argentina’s 2-1 victory over Nigeria with Lionel Messi. Photo: AFP/Getty Images

Ed Malyon

Lionel Messi said he always believed Argentina would prevail against Nigeria, despite the game coming down to a nail-biting finish and a stunning late winner from the most unlikeliest of sources.

Marcos Rojo volleyed home at the death to send Argentina through at the expense of the Nigerians and World Cup debutants Iceland, who lost 2-1 to group winners Croatia.

But despite the tense finale, Messi said he knew his team would pull through

“We were sure that we were going to win this game,” he said.

“It’s marvellous to have been able to win in this way. It’s a deserved happiness. I knew that God was with us and that he wasn’t going to let us go out.”

Argentina were cheered on by an enormous travelling support, a huge band of sky blue and white who have been the noisiest of the visiting groups in Russia.

“I would like the to thank all the people here, for all their sacrifice, and all of those in Argentina who were always with us,” he added. “This shirt is above everything.”

Online Editors

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