Lionel Messi has emphasised his delight at being back with the Argentina national team after what he described as a "complicated year."
Messi scored the winner from the penalty spot, as Argentina defeated Ecuador 1-0 in the World Cup Qualifiers on Friday, starting their World Cup qualification campaign in perfect fashion.
The 33-year-old is coming off the back of a whirlwind summer transfer window, in which he seriously pushed to leave Barcelona after 19 years at the club.
Manchester City were frontrunners for his signature, but it proved to be far too complicated of a financial deal to complete. With that being said, Messi now looks set to light up the Nou Camp once again for at least one more season.
Lionel Messi happy to win a tough contest with Ecuador
Messi's first-half penalty guided Argentina to a great start in their World Cup Qualifying journey against tricky opposition in Ecuador.
Lionel Scaloni's team are joint-top with Uruguay, who toppled Chile 2-1 after the opening night, as both nations look to earn passage into the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
After full-time, Messi was quoted expressing his thoughts over the important win against Ecuador and happiness at being back on international duty:
"We knew it was going to be complicated, but the most important thing is that we won and now we have to work to keep growing. It was important to start off with a win because we know how difficult the World Cup Qualifiers are. The matches are always tough, we were waiting for this level, it’s been a while since we have played."
"The anxiety also makes it complicated. It was a complicated year for what we are living through. Being able to go back and play with the Argentina national team and give happiness to people with the win, beyond the game, serves to decompress. Much strength to all Argentines.”
It goes without saying that Messi will play a crucial part if Argentina are going to safely qualify for the 2022 tournament. Qatar 2022 could very well be Messi's final World Cup, which makes qualifying all the more important.
Published 09 Oct 2020, 15:24 IST