Remarkably the little maestro has not always been held in the same high-esteem back home as he is in Europe. His compatriots have often criticized him for not producing the same level of performance for Argentina as he does for his club side Barcelona. Messi may now have buried such sentiments beneath another astonishing outpouring of his footballing talents with this match winning display against Argentina’s fiercest rivals. Alright – it was a friendly played in front of an 80,000 plus crowd in New jersey; but the nasty incident at the end of the game that prompted a double sending-off suggests that the match meant a lot to both sides.
The game had been billed in some quarters as a face-off between Brazilian wunderkind Neymar and the mercurial Messi. Neymar failed to score, while Messi won the match almost single-handedly ( though NOT in the way his countryman, and fellow footballing genius, Maradona might have done of course). Chelsea target – Hulk – grabbed a goal but he could not prevent an unhappy ending for the five times world-cup winners.