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Australia players were fanboying over Lionel Messi after the match, they even lined up for a selfie

Jack Kenmare

Published 
| Last updated 

Australia players were fanboying over Lionel Messi after the match, they even lined up for a selfie

In the late hours of Saturday night, a group of Australia players waited patiently outside Argentina's dressing room to get a selfie with Lionel Messi – and let's be honest, we'd all do the same.

The seven-time Ballon d'Or winner, a man who continues to produce on the biggest stage, scored on his 1,000th career appearance as two-time champions Argentina secured a place in the World Cup quarter-finals.

Messi was at his breathtaking best against a resilient Australia side, who battled to the very end after Lionel Scaloni's side went 2-0 up thanks to goals from Julian Alvarez and that man Messi.

But it wasn't enough as chants of "Messi, Messi, Messi" echoed around the Ahmad Bin Ali stadium at full-time.

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Lionel Messi was at his scintillating best on Saturday night. Image credit: Alamy
Lionel Messi was at his scintillating best on Saturday night. Image credit: Alamy

Around an hour later and as the noisy Argentina fans made their way out of the 40,000 capacity stadium, a number of Australia players hovered around the Albicelestes' dressing room with phones in hand.

Why? Because they all wanted a picture with arguably the greatest of all time – Lionel Messi – as a reminder of what was a special night in Al Rayyan, for both Argentina and underdogs Australia.

Graham Arnold's side defied expectation by reaching the round of 16 and to their credit, they gave the favourites a run for their money on Saturday night.

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As you can see in the footage below, the players were delighted at getting a snap with Argentina's star man. And who can blame them?

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After the full-time whistle, fans and pundits alike waxed lyrical about Messi's performance. Rio Ferdinand, who was joined by Gary Lineker, Alan Shearer and Pablo Zabaleta in the BBC studio, was in awe.

"Messi has put on the best individual performance we have seen at this World Cup by a mile," Ferdinand said.

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"The crowd, it was almost godlike after anything he had done. We were almost watching the reaction from the fans to everything he did."

Shearer added: "[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."

If you happened to miss the game, here's a compilation of Messi's highlights. It's a joy to behold.

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Piers Morgan, meanwhile, ripped into the likes of Ferdinand and Shearer for "fan-girling" over Messi.

He wrote on Twitter: "The relentless Messi fan-girling by the whole BBC punditry team is getting excruciatingly obsequious. Getting worried one of them might have an "accident" in the studio.

"Calm yourselves, lads. He had a good game against an average side. See how he does against a good team."

Thoughts on Lionel Messi's performance against Australia on Saturday night? Can he lead Argentina to their third World Cup title this winter?

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Let us know in the comments.

Featured Image Credit: Twitter/@Lionel30i

Topics: Argentina, Lionel Messi, Football World Cup, Australia, Paris Saint-Germain

Jack Kenmare
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