The world is a better place when Lionel Messi is at the top of his game.
The Argentine star was helpless to prevent the Albiceleste falling to Brazil six days ago but he was the inspiration behind their 3-0 win against Colombia.
Messi scored once and made two assists as Argentina recorded a much-needed win.
His display against Colombia deserves to be remembered for years to come, he was that good. But Messi has produced so many superlative performances in his career that it’s often hard to recall every single one.
The Barcelona star was at the heartbeat of every move, and it was his first-half free-kick that suggested Colombia would be in for a long night.
That came in the 10th minute. Thirteen minutes later and Lucas Pratto doubled the hosts’ lead following Messi’s cross.
Argentina had to wait until the 84th minute for Angel di Maria to put the finishing touches on the game but Messi remained active throughout.
Messi's mazy run
The 29-year-old called for Argentina to improve following their 3-0 defeat to Brazil but he pretty much decided to put his teammates on his back. In the second half, he went on a mazy run in which he skipped past four Colombia players as if they were school children.
Check it out below.
Edgardo Bauza’s team ended a four-game winless run and revived their hopes of qualifying for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
Argentina, who finished runners-up in Brazil two years ago, are fifth in the South American qualifying table on 19 points.
They need to finish in the top four to automatically book their spot in Russia and if Messi continues to produce the goods, their task will become a whole lot easier.
Colombia coach Jose Pekerman admitted after the game that Messi was the difference.
"I'm very sorry for the way they gave away the first two goals,'' he said, via ESPN FC.
"Messi in this form is impossible, because he makes a remarkable difference.
"We started the match well and if we had converted from time to time then it could have been a different story, but they scored fast and it was already difficult.
"We lacked experience, we made mistakes and we paid dearly.''