Lionel Messi turns 34 later this month but the legendary forward is still the talisman for both his club (Barcelona) and country (Argentina).
The six-time Ballon d’Or winner helped Argentina secure a point against Chile in their latest 2022 World Cup qualifier on Thursday night.
Messi opened the scoring from the penalty spot midway through the first half before Alexis Sanchez equalised before half-time.
The point means Argentina stay second in their 2022 World Cup qualification table, one point behind Brazil, who face Ecuador on Friday evening.
Despite the fact Argentina could only draw 1-1 with Chile, Messi told reporters that he was content with the result.
“It had been a long time that we weren’t together, it’s not easy coming back but I think at times we played a good game,” the forward told reporters, per Mundo Albiceleste. “I’m happy about the result, beyond that we couldn’t win. little by little, we have to get stronger again.”
Messi and teammates pay tribute to Maradona
“It was a very special match because it was the first one without Diego,” Messi added. “We know that the national team meant to him and we know that he was present. In addition, it was special for the situation in the country and in the world, it’s a very difficult situation for everyone.”
Where Argentina were once so reliant on Maradona for inspiration, the same has been true with Messi for the past 15 years.
Video: Messi's highlights for Argentina vs Chile
His individual highlights against Chile show that, even as he approaches his 34th birthday, Messi still feels like he needs to do everything when wearing his national team’s colours.
Watch the footage here…
Dribbling the ball from deep, taking all set-pieces, shooting from distance… he’s still like a one-man band for La Albiceleste.
Reaction to Messi's performance vs Chile
Let’s check out some of the reaction to Messi’s latest performance for Argentina…
Will Messi win a tournament with Argentina before he retires?
Messi has received more than his fair share of criticism while playing for his country since making his international debut in 2005.
But claims that he doesn’t care enough or never performs are simply untrue.
This is a player who has always given his all for Argentina and is still absolutely desperate to win a major trophy for his country before he hangs up his boots.
Now with 143 caps to his name (and 72 goals), wouldn’t it be lovely to see Messi lift either the Copa America or World Cup trophy before he calls time on his extraordinary career?
Quiz: How much do you really know about Lionel Messi?
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