Barcelona star Lionel Messi continues to cement his place among the legends of the game and not just as one of the best players in the last five years. Messi has won everything on the club level but some critics have argued he must win the World Cup to be considered as one of the best ever.
While some of his performances with Argentina in the past were not up to par, Messi cannot be blamed for his country’s failures in recent years which came as a result of mediocre coaching under former legendary player Diego Maradona or due to the lack of complementary players who can bring the best out of Lionel.
However, in more recent times, Messi has clearly produced on a very high level with Argentina in a manner comparable to his performances on the club level. Lionel managed his first international hat-trick in a friendly against Switzerland back in February 2012. Over the weekend, Messi produced another masterpiece on the international scene as he scored a remarkable hat-trick against bitter rivals Brazil.
The Argentine magician seems to enjoy facing the Selecao as he managed to score a late winner against the Brazilians when the two sides met in Doha, Qatar. The Barca hero broke the deadlock with a fine late strike in 2010 to settle the friendly 1-0 in favor of his nation.
In New Jersey, Messi saw his side fall 1-0 before he produced to excellent runs and finishes to give Argentina a 2-1 lead. Brazil fired back with two goals to take the lead and as the Selecao appeared to be closer to victory, Argentina managed to equalize setting the stage for Messi to produce one more moment of magic.
Brazil’s goalkeeper Rafael made a fine save from Messi’s well-struck freekick as the match was nearing the final stages but he and his teammates could do nothing a few minutes later. Messi masterfully dribbled past Marcelo’s attempted challenge before going on one of his trademark surges and unleashing a wonderful curler to seal a 4-3 victory over the Selecao. Please click here to watch Messi’s third and wonder goal.
A huge crowd in East Rutherford was witness to one of the greatest individual performances by a soccer player and any professional athlete. Even some sections of the Brazilian crowd cheered with each of Messi’s goals and at the end many Brazilians did clap for Lionel despite the fact he was the main reason behind their team’s defeat.
Without Messi’s heroics, Brazil would have probably won this game without much trouble as the Selecao players seemed to have more possession and the better chances of the two sides. Below is the video showing all the goals of this entertaining match: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ww7TENIsWE0