‘It was almost godlike’: Rio Ferdinand lauds Lionel Messi’s display against Australia as ‘the best individual performance we have seen at this World Cup by a mile’ as Argentina head to the quarter-finals
Messi scored a brilliant first-half goal to give his side the lead and in the second-half created countless chances for his teammates to wrap up the game.
‘The best individual performance at this World Cup’: Pundits raved about Lionel Messi’s game
The former Manchester United defender continued: ‘The crowd, it was almost godlike after anything he had done. We were almost watching the reaction from the fans to everything he did.’
Messi opened the scoring for his side after 35 minutes – following an unusually quiet start to the game – with Alan Shearer even saying, ‘his touch looked like it was off.’
The goal kicked the 35-year-old into life and Messi performed at his very best for the remainder of the knockout stage clash.
Alan Shearer joined in on the praise for the PSG man saying: ‘[We are] so lucky to be in the stadium to watch him. What a second half performance from him.
‘His hunger and desire and ability to open it up for his teammates. He is the story, but what a performance from Australia.’
‘[We are] so lucky to be in the stadium to watch him’: Alan Shearer was grateful to watch Messi
Messi toyed with the Australia defence for the whole of the second-half and, if Lautaro Martinez had his shooting boots on, could have added a couple of assists to his name.
In the end, Martinez’s misses did not prove costly and Messi and his side continue their quest to win the World Cup.
Argentina will now face Holland in the World Cup quarter-finals looking to secure a spot in the semi-finals in Qatar.
Louis van Gaal’s side beat the USA 3-1 in a dominant performance with goals from Memphis Depay, Daley Blind and Denzel Dumfries.
Ferdinand said Messi’s performance against Australia was ‘almost godlike’ in the 2-1 victory