Former England defender Rio Ferdinand lauds Lionel Messi’s performance in Argentina’s 2-1 win over Australia in the Round Of 16 game at stadium 974 in Qatar.
Speaking on BBC, Ferdinand said: ‘Messi has put on the best individual performance we have seen at this World Cup by a mile.”
Messi in his 1000th appearance put Argentina in the ascendency in the first half. He scored his 9th World Cup in the 35th minute to surpass the late Diego Maradona his fellow Argentinian.
Former England striker Alan Shearer joined Ferdinand in praising Messi as well ‘[We are] so lucky to be in the stadium to watch him. What a second-half performance from him.” Shearer said
Shearer further added ‘His hunger and desire and ability to open it up for his teammates. He is the story, but what a performance from Australia.’
The 35-year-old Lionel Messi registered his knockout goal in Saturday’s game.
Australia after their dramatic qualification to the Round Of 16 is now eliminated. Messi opened the scoring and Julian Alverez doubled the lead in the second half in the 57th minute. An Enzo Fernandez late own goal in the 77th minute gave a sniff to the Aussies. However, Argentina managed to qualify.
Elsewhere in the other knockout Luis Van Gaal’s Netherlands beat USA 3-1 to qualify for the quarterfinals of the World Cup.
Argentina will meet the Netherlands in the quarterfinals on Saturday.