Lionel Messi putting Argentina's World Cup hopes on his back

CONMEBOL World Cup Qualifying

Luis Suarez

"Messi does not owe Argentina a World Cup, football owes Messi a World Cup".

But with Messi at his electrifying best, no nation will want to come up against La Albiceleste in Russian Federation.

Argentina attacker Paulo Dybala described himself as "lucky" to be able to see the magic of Lionel Messi up close after his nation reached the World Cup.

The 30-year-old's first goal, 12 minutes in, came from an Angel Di Maria assist and gave the fans, and seemingly the team, hope.

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Speaking afterwards, Messi said: 'There was always the fear of coming here to play.

Meanwhile, the United States failed to qualify for a World Cup for the first time since 1986 after they fell to a 2-1 defeat against Trinidad and Tobago. They should consider themselves lucky as they are going to play against a team, Ecuador, who have already been eliminated from the competition.

That includes a Cristiano Ronaldo fan who doubted Messi could do what the Real Madrid superstar did in 2013. His second spectacular hat-trick performance was also witnessed in 2012 in the Argentina vs Brazil match played on June 9, 2012.

The win unleashed partying and sighs of relief in the Argentina dressing room at Atahualpa stadium in Quito.

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Ecuador will have a different team for this clash as the many of their veterans including Walter Ayovi and Alexander Dominguez have been left out.

"He is the best player in the history of football and I'm very excited to be in a group near him".

There are no more words to describe his brilliance.

No Argentine national player apart from Messi has found the net for their country in over a year. It was all true until Messi stepped up and saved Argentina.

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Nigeria became the first African country to progress when Arsenal's Alex Iwobi scored the victor against Zambia on Saturday, while a stoppage-time penalty from Liverpool's Mohamed Salah the following day took Egypt to their first World Cup in 28 ye ars. Have your say in the comments section below.

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