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SPORTS | 06-06-2022 13:57

Messi conjures up five-timer in Estonia friendly

Lionel Messi scored all the goals in Argentina's 5-0 friendly win over Estonia in Pamplona, Spain on Sunday – becoming only the third

Lionel Messi scored all the goals in Argentina's 5-0 friendly win over Estonia in Pamplona, Spain on Sunday.

Messi joins a select club comprising only Juan Andrés Marvezy (five goals against Ecuador in 1941) and José Manuel Moreno (five goals against Ecuador in 1942) to score five in a game for Argentina.

The seven-time Ballon d'Or scored from the spot in the eighth minute, then added four more in the space of half an hour (45, 47, 71 and 76 minutes). 

His quintet extended his record tally of goals for his country to 86.

Lionel Scaloni's side are unbeaten in 33 matches, the last loss a 2-0 defeat to Brazil in the semi-finals of the 2019 Copa América.

At the World Cup finals in Qatar later this year Argentina are drawn with Saudi Arabia, Mexico and Poland.

 

Praise for playmaker

Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni was glowing in his admiration for Messi after the 5-0 win. 

"I don't know what else to say about him, it's like with Rafa Nadal, what are you going to say? There are no words left to describe him, for everything he generates," said the former Albiceleste right back.

"It's something unique and it's a pleasure to have him in this group and to coach him. And it's a pleasure his behaviour and how he gives his all for this shirt," Scaloni added.

Messi, according to the coach, "is not only Argentina's heritage, he is the world's heritage and when he no longer plays we are going to miss him, so I hope he continues to play and that the whole world protects him".

Scaloni praised his team for extending their 33-match unbeaten run.

"Now the countdown to the World Cup will begin for all the teams and we believe we are doing well, we are no more or less favourites than other teams. We are confident in our chances but we also know that football is difficult today, so we don't think we are unbeatable, far from it.

He also stressed that "the important thing is how to play, how to face the games and sometimes how to lose as well."

 

– TIMES/AFP

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