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"Best individual performance we've seen at World Cup" - Rio Ferdinand hails 'god-like' Lionel Messi's brilliant performance against Australia

Lionel Messi and Rio Ferdinand
Lionel Messi and Rio Ferdinand

Former England defender Rio Ferdinand has praised Lionel Messi for his scintillating performance which helped Argentina beat Australia 2-1 in their 2022 FIFA World Cup round-of-16 fixture yesterday.

The Manchester United legend labeled the seven-time Ballon d'Or winner's display 'god-like' and branded it the best individual performance we've witnessed in the tournament so far this year.

“Messi has put on the best individual performance we’ve seen at this World Cup so far, by a mile,” Rio Ferdinand said on BBC (via Mirror). “Showboating, laying shots on a plate for teammates, and the crowd – it was almost god-like, after every single thing he does.”
#BREAKING Argentina beat Australia 2-1 to reach World Cup quarter-finals https://t.co/utCMtBSIHL

Former Newcastle United striker Alan Shearer, who was also present with Rio Ferdinand at the BBC Studio, also seized the opportunity to acknowledge Lionel Messi's brilliant outing against Australia.

“What a second-half performance from him, and the first half with his goal," the Englishman said. "We’ve spoken about his ability many times before, the hunger and desire and ability to run with the ball attracts so many defenders to him which then frees up his teammates.
“The story is on him but what a performance from Australia to come back into the game and that sort of epitomizes them in this tournament. Lucky goal, but they gave it a right good go right until the end of their tournament. It could have gone to extra time if not for a fantastic save, but the best team won.”

Rio Ferdinand went on to reveal how he lost his voice screaming and cheering as Lionel Messi took on Australian players at the Ahmad bin Ali Stadium yesterday.

“Honestly if we had a camera in here, the way we were jumping up and down,” the Manchester United legend said. “I’ve lost my voice screaming how is he doing this?
“He’s embarrassing players but with his head up. You know a player goes through a cluster of players their head’s down usually, but he’s taking people on and seeing the pitch, his spacial awareness is phenomenal,” he added.

Lionel Messi reached an incredible milestone versus Australia

Lionel Messi and Argentina are through to the World Cup quarterfinals where they'll face the Netherlands.
Lionel Messi and Argentina are through to the World Cup quarterfinals where they'll face the Netherlands.

The Argentine played the 1000th game of his professional career for club and country when he faced Australia in the World Cup yesterday. He managed to make it count by scoring one of Argentina's two goals in the 2-1 triumph.

1000 - Against Australia, Lionel Messi will make his 1,000th appearance for Argentina, Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain. To date he has 788 goals and 338 assists (1,126 goals + assists). Legend. https://t.co/cCdnk9Ua4j

By doing so, he's now raised his numbers to a staggering 789 goals and 338 assists in 1000 appearances, according to Opta Jean. He also has an impressive 1127 overall goal contribution, a feat that will remain untouched for many years.

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Edited by S Chowdhury
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