Messi netted his third goal of Qatar 2022, as La Albiceleste sealed a 2-1 last 16 win over Australia in Al Rayyan, to ensure Lionel Scaloni’s side avoided a shock in the first knockout round.
A goal on his 1000th game marked another landmark for Messi, but the 35-year-old was focused on the wider picture, as Argentina set up a date with the Netherlands in the last eight.
“I am very happy to take one more step towards our World Cup goal”, as per reports from Diario AS.
“It was a tough game, very physical. We knew it would be like this.
“We came back from playing very recently and we didn’t have time to rest.
“We ended up complicating the situation for ourselves, with the late goal, and we had to suffer.”
A meeting with the Dutch is a repeat of the 1978 World Cup final, as Mario Kempes inspired Argentina to glory in Buenos Aires, but more recent match ups have been tighter.
The two sides battled out a 0-0 draw in the group stages of the 2006 World Cup, and Messi scored from the spot, as Argentina sealed a penalty shootout win over the Dutch, in the 2014 World Cup semi finals.