Paulo Dybala Says He's Lucky To Watch Lionel Messi

Despite going a goal down in the very first minute of their game against Ecuador, Argentina qualified for the World Cup in Russian Federation, thanks largely to a heroic performance from Lionel Messi.

A hat-trick from the Barcelona star propelled La Albiceleste to next summer's tournament in Russian Federation after a 3-1 victory in Ecuador, which Sampaoli's side needed to win to guarantee qualification.

Messi's hat trick in Quito gave Argentina its first goals in open play since a 3-0 victory over Colombia in November 2016.

"There was always the fear of coming here to play".

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Lionel Messi is often considered as the best player in the world and regarded by many as the greatest of all time and these videos hint at why fans are insane about this sports legend.

Critics have argued the 30-year-old needs to lead his country to tournaments success to better Diego Maradona, who lifted the World Cup in 1986 and was player of the tournament. Argentina needed him to pull them out of a deep, deep hole, and that's precisely what he did.

"Let's hope we get a chance (to put the ghosts of the last World Cup to rest)".

Ecuador had already been eliminated from World Cup consideration before Tuesday's slate, but they had the opportunity to play spoiler.

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"As national team players we have gone through many situations".

Argentina had only scored 16 goals in 17 qualifiers until Tuesday, and Messi admitted that "loads of things" crossed his mind when Ecuador pulled ahead less than one minute into the game.

The Daily Mail reported that Monaco captain Falcao appeared to "gently push one player over to his nearby team mates to pass on a message". In 2013, Franck Ribéry had been the favourite for the award.

And on November 19, Ronaldo, the Ballon d'Or incumbent, hit a hat-trick that propelled his side to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil courtesy of a 3-2 win over Sweden on the night and a 4-2 win on aggregate. Will Messi's Ecuadorian excellence propel him to a sixth win?

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  • Jill Young