Lionel Messi: Barcelona star's insane assist that never was for Argentina vs Spain in 2010

p1fb01ulrbnbaqrkqmarjegich.jpg

Lionel Messi is finally getting the respect he deserves for his Argentina performances.

Messi's Argentina career

Truth be told, the Barcelona superstar could have hung up his boots long before winning the Copa America this summer and still laid claim to having one of the greatest ever international careers.

While that might seem like an exaggeration given Messi's paltry trophy haul, there's no denying that he's produced some performances for the ages while playing in the colours of his nation.

However, that's by the by now that Messi has bagged the silverware that his Argentina brilliance has long deserved, defeating Brazil at the Maracana to be crowned kings of South America.

VAN DE BEEK to leave Man Utd (Football Terrace)

A long line of stunning moments

It really was a watershed event in Messi's career that has sparked something of a retrospective of his greatest achievements and moments in an Argentina jersey across social media.

Besides, for all of Messi's lack of international silverware before this summer, there are no shortage of goals and assists that he's produced over the last 16 years that deserve their own trophy.

And arguably the most underrated chapter in Messi's time with Argentina came against arguably one of the toughest opponents that he has ever faced for his country: prime Spain.

p1fb03njohq3kmqb13jjs07ihub.jpg

ENTER GIVEAWAY

Argentina 4-1 Spain

Yes, that's right, Argentina locked horns with Spain just a matter of months after they won the World Cup with their gorgeous tika-taka football and not a single goal conceded in the knockout rounds.

Given that Argentina had exited that very same tournament with a 4-0 defeat to Germany and without Messi having found the net, you'd be forgiven for thinking they were on a hiding to nothing.

But that couldn't have been further from the case with Argentina swaggering their way to a jaw-dropping 4-1 victory at the Estadio Monumental thanks in no small part to a Messi masterclass.

p1fb03qe3qoji12nbs81n633naf.jpg

Messi's assist that never was

However, arguably the finest moment that Messi produced during that astonishing win was actually when Argentina had a goal ruled out because the would-be assist was nothing short of magic.

Messi picked up the ball deep in his own half and embarked on a rampage run that took him all the way to the final third, before playing a killer past to Angel Di Maria that he duly fired into the net.

Heartbreakingly, the linesman's flag correctly denied what would have been a truly remarkable goal, but that doesn't make Messi's run and pass any less incredible, so check it out down below:

Yes, that really was prime Spain

Can we just zoom out for a second and remember that Messi wasn't just doing that against any old team, but arguably the greatest international side that has ever been assembled.

Granted, Spain weren't firing on all cylinders seeing as it was only a friendly, but the likes of Andres Iniesta, Xavi, Xabi Alonso, David Silva, Cesac Fabregas and Sergio Busquets all featured.

And despite that, Argentina were still able to run away comfortable winners with Messi bagging the opening goal before Gonzalo Higuain, Carlos Tevez and Sergio Aguero turned the game into a rout.

p1fb03p14kufakj21ee81ctd5jud.jpg

That alone is something to be incredibly proud of, but just imagine what could have been had Messi's assist for the ages actually counted. Well, at least Di Maria paid him back 11 years later...

1 of 20
p1f0bdjs3f11tgicl1nl313081nh43.jpg

Which city was Lionel Messi born and raised?

News Now - Sport News