SK Play of the Day: Lionel Messi's wonder goal against Colombia
Games between Argentina and Colombia generally tend to have a symbolism that far outweighs the mere result of the match – case in point being Colombia's 5-0 defenestration of Argentina in 1993 which heralded the arrival of Los Cafeteros on the world stage and prompted Pele to prematurely crown them world champions.
Coming back to the present, Argentina's 3-0 win over an in-form Colombia could very well be one such result. Coming off the back of a 3-0 humbling against arch-rivals Brazil, they needed to make a statement. And boy! did they! And the man leading the way was the sportsman under the most pressure on the planet.
There is only one way Lionel Messi can shake away the heavy burden that lies across those slender shoulders – the accusation of under performing for his nation – and that's by, well, dragging Argentina to victory time and time again.
Against Colombia, he opened the scoring with a freekick of the rarest, highest, quality. Thirty yards away from goal, and dead centre, Messi took a couple of steps, and curled an un-saveable shot around the wall and into the roof of the net right in the top corner.
The curl on the shot was simply Magnifique
It was exactly what the doctor ordered – for Argentina, and for Leo Messi. He continued in the same vein for the duration of the match.
The second goal was a Lucas Pratto header, with Messi turning provider. The little magician cut in from the right, touch a couple of touches to skip away from the flailing defenders before putting a cross in on Pratto's head. The ball was just begging for a goal.
The third goal was Angel Di Maria's only in name. Messi backheeled a ball to Enzo Perez, but Perez lost it. Messi nicked the ball back and then pitter-pattered away in that inimitable style of his, only the green grass for company. He then looked up and picked out Di Maria – who made no mistake by slamming it into the roof of the net.
This brilliant performance may not keep all the critics, naysayers, and haters away, but for an Argentine fan, or a neutral for that matter, it was certainly a sign of great encouragement.