Argentina captain Lionel Messi made an emotional statement about his family following his side’s victory over Australia in the 2022 FIFA World Cup Round of 16.
The Albiceleste reached the quarter-finals of the Qatar showpiece after seeing off the Socceroos 2-1 on Saturday in a game where Messi, playing in his 1000th career match, was also on target.
He opened the scoring for Lionel Scaloni’s team with a cool finish from inside the box before Julian Alvarez doubled their advantage after the break.
An own goal from Enzo Fernandez in the 77th minute gave Australia a ray of hope, but Argentina held out for the remainder of the game to advance into the last eight.
Lionel Messi’s game by numbers vs. Australia:
90% pass accuracy
10 passes into final ⅓
9 touches in opp. box (most)
6 shots (most)
4 chances created (most)
2 Big Chances created (most)
2 shots on target
2 fouls won
1 tackle made
After the win, Messi was shown a clip of his family celebrating his goal in the stands. He watched it with a wide smile on his face and his reaction went viral on the internet.
He revealed that his family is always present at his games and how watching his children grow up has been ‘spectacular’.
Speaking at the post-match press conference, he said (via Seleccion Argentina):
“My family is always present, my children especially because they are grown up and understand everything. Today seeing them from the inside how they feel and how they live is spectacular. They are excited and happy”.
Lionel Messi’s wife, Antonella Roccuzzo, along with their three children, Thiago, Mateo and Ciro, have all been in attendance for all of his World Cup games so far.
#Qatar2022 🎙 Lionel Messi en conferencia: “Siempre está presente mi familia, mis hijos sobre todo porque ya son grandes y entienden todo. Hoy verlos desde adentro cómo lo sienten y cómo lo viven es espectacular. Están ilusionados y felices”.
The Messi family is firmly behind the Argentine captain in what’s possibly his last appearance on football’s biggest stage and his pursuit of clinching the ultimate prize.
Lionel Messi and Argentina to face the Netherlands in the quarter-finals
Argentina reached the quarter-finals of the FIFA World Cup for the first time since 2014 and take on the Netherlands on Friday for a place in the last four.
The Albiceleste started their campaign with a shock 2-1 loss to Saudi Arabia in Group C but have recovered spectacularly since then.
They beat Mexico and Poland in their next two games in a pair of 2-0 wins before overcoming Australia in the last 16 with another strong performance.
Louis van Gaal’s Oranje will be their toughest assignment yet, with the side also cruising through the FIFA World Cup so far.
The Dutch, in their first appearance in the finals since 2014, made light work of the USA in the last round with a clinical display. Lionel Messi and co. have a challenge on their hands here.
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