What Joey Barton has noticed about an Ecuador player during Argentina match

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So, Lionel Messi will be going to the Russia World Cup after all.

The Argentine superstar helped himself to a hat-trick as his country beat Ecuador in their must-win World Cup qualifier. It meant Argentina finished third in the South American qualifying league, two points clear of Chile who came 6th and missed out.

But it looked as though we wouldn’t have Messi at the World Cup after just one minute of the clash.

That's because Ecuador - who were already eliminated - took the lead in the very first minute.

But Messi wasn’t having any of it.

By the 20th minute, Argentina were ahead with Messi grabbing both goals.

The first, he poked in from an Angel di Maria cross and the second, he smashed home after a defender gave the ball away.

He completed his hat-trick just after the hour mark to book Argentina’s place in Russia.

He collected the ball from Enzo Perez, drove to the edge of the box and chipped the ball over the ‘keeper.

Absolutely glorious.

As you can imagine, social media was full of football fans claiming Messi was the greatest player to have ever played the game.

But there was one man that downplayed Messi’s achievements somewhat.

Joey Barton's tweets

That man was Joey Barton, who highlighted something interesting.

This morning, he tweeted: “Watched the Messi goals this morning. Something not quite right with the Ecuador no 23's movement and behaviour.”

He then followed it up with: “Watch his positioning and play for all the goals. Maybe just a coincidence?”

To be fair, Barton may have a point.

For the first goal, he decided to let Messi run past him to score Argentina’s first, while he was the player who gave the ball away for the second.

For the third, he backed off and failed to tackle Messi when he completed his hat-trick.

Watch: Messi's goals

Just take a look:

We’re not saying he’s guilty of match-fixing but maybe he’s just a Messi fan who wanted him to play at the World-Cup?

Or maybe he’s just completely rubbish?

Either way, Messi will be thanking his for his awful performance.

Joey Barton
Newcastle United
Argentina Football
Premier League
Lionel Messi
Brazil Football
Luis Suarez
La Liga
World Cup

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