“Da Vinci or Mozart of football” – Fans left stunned by jaw-dropping display from Lionel Messi in Argentina’s 2-1 win over Australia in FIFA World Cup

Fans left stunned by Argentina captain Lionel Messi
Fans left stunned by Argentina captain Lionel Messi's FIFA World Cup display

Fans on Twitter lauded Argentina captain Lionel Messi for his spectacular performance in his team's 2-1 Round of 16 win against Australia at the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar on Saturday (December 3).

The clash was Messi's 1000th professional game for club and country. The Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) attacker put on a befitting display as he dazzled throughout the game.

Messi opened the scoring in the 35th minute after Nicolas Otamendi had set him up inside the box. His shot went through a crowd of Australian defenders and ended up in the back of the net. It was his first goal in the World Cup knockouts in five attempts.

Julian Alvarez then capitalised on a defensive error from the Socceroos in the second half to double Argentina's lead. Craig Goodwin's shot took a massive deflection off Fernandez in the 77th minute as the Socceroos reduced arrears. However, Martinez produced a last-ditch save as Argentina clung on to reach the last eight.

Messi had a magical night as he rolled back the years with his brilliant left foot. The former Barcelona man masterfully set up Lautaro Martinez only to see the Inter Milan striker fire wastefully over.

At 35, the consensus belief was that Messi is on the decline. However, if tonight's performance was anything to go by, he remains one of the best players in the world. The touch artist reminded everyone why it's called the beautiful game as he produced a majestic performance.

Here are some of the best reactions across Twitter after Messi's masterclass against Australia.

Messi proves to me every single time he is still doing it at the age he is, on the biggest level of them all. I will never change my view on the 🐐 debate but wow.
Tears in my eyes Messi just transformed into Barca Messi for a few moments
There will be nothing like messi
Messi has rolled back the years tonight.What a delight to watch. What a one man show he put on.Genius. Legendary. Iconic.I genuinely believe he is touched by god.
Lionel Messi in his 1000th game giving us a game for the ages. You would not believe he’s 35 years old 🐐
Lionel Messi unbelievable performance yet again man, I don’t understand him, deserves at least two assists as well.
What a performance Lionel MessiNobody can say He's 35 man 🔥🔥This is beyond dedication 🐐
That last 10 minutes from Messi is just football genius. He’s the Da Vinci or Mozart of football

Argentina will now play Netherlands on Friday (December 9) for a place in the last four, in a repeat of the 2014 semifinals.

FIFA World Cup milestones awaiting Argentina captain Lionel Messi

Lionel Messi was on song against Australia
Lionel Messi was on song against Australia

Lionel Messi scored his ninth FIFA World Cup goal against Australia. He has now surpassed Diego Maradona's tally of eight in the competition. Gabriel Batistuta is Argentina's all-time record scorer in World Cup with ten goals. Messi will have at least one game to equal or better that tally.

If the 35-year-old leads his team to the final, he will go past Germany's Lothar Mattheus (25) for most games played at the World Cup. That will also see him go past Maradona's record of most World Cup games captained for Argentina (16). With two more assists, Messi will tie Maradona (8) for most assists by an Argentine player at the World Cup.

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Edited by Bhargav
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