By 90Min
October 11, 2017

Just imagine how things would have gone for Argentina had Lionel Messi not changed his mind about his international retirement, eh?

The Barcelona snatched his nation from the brink of World Cup disappointment, winning them a place in next year's finals with a hat-trick against Ecuador on Tuesday, his first ever during a qualifying campaign.

RODRIGO BUENDIA/GettyImages

Argentina went down a goal with just a minute gone, leaving fans quite nervy. But Messi scored twice before the 20-minute mark to put the 2014 finalists ahead, hitting another just after the hour mark.

The bench could hardly contain their emotions; and even at halftime, they were already celebrating like they'd won the match.

The World Cup just wouldn't have been the same without Argentina competing. And thanks to Messi, La Albiceleste will be in the thick of things when the tournament takes place in Russia next year.


Can they get past the final hurdle, though? We'll have to wait and see.


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