Argentina Thrashes Croatia, The World Declares It Messi’s World Cup

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Credit: Telegraph

A recent news article published in the Telegraph states that ‘It’s already Messi’s World Cup’: How the world reacted to Argentina’s thumping victory over Croatia.

The streets of Buenos Aires turned into a party

The streets of Buenos Aires turned into a party on Tuesday night as a Lionel Messi-inspired Argentina thumped Croatia to earn this football-mad South American country a spot in the World Cup final.

Fans poured onto the streets of the capital as soon as the match ended, with people waving Argentina flags out of their cars while others jumped and sang for joy amid a sea of national team jerseys.

Earlier, Buenos Aires had come to a standstill on a scorching summer afternoon as fans packed cafes, restaurants and public plazas, where giant screens beamed the action to the masses.

“I’m in complete ecstasy,” said Emiliano Adam, 31, while wearing the country’s flag as a cape. “This is the first match that didn’t make me suffer, the first time I could enjoy a match from beginning to end.”

“We’re all super excited, it’s been so long since we’ve lived a happiness like this, it’s beautiful, I mean look at this,” said Laila Desmery, a 27-year-old actress, as she pointed to people dancing and celebrating on the street. “It’s really unexplainable the joy that we’re going to be living through in the next few days.”

How did Argentina’s newspapers react?

“It’s a feeling!” read the front page of the El Hincha sport newspaper, with an image of Messi leading the celebrations alongside his team-mates.

El Hincha added: “Argentina played a perfect game and thrashed Croatia 3-0 to secure a place in the World Cup final in Qatar. The Albiceleste was far superior to an opponent that in the previous match looked brave and practically erased the opposition from the field. Lio Messi, who broke them all, scored the first penalty and Julián Álvarez nailed a double to the joy of the Argentine people who have always been excited about the Scaloneta.”

El Día had the headline “To dream big” below an image of Messi jumping for joy alongside Álvarez, after the two had combined for Argentina’s third goal on Tuesday night. The front page also included an image of the thousands of Argentina fans who took to the streets back home to celebrate the win, and added: “With a brilliant Messi who continues to make history, plus a lethal Julián Álvarez, Argentina entered the most desired final in the football world. Thus, next Sunday we will go in search of our third cup. The Scaloni team excited us again.”

Diario de Cuyo said “Argentina, with Lio and Julian, one step away from making history” next to a similar image of the celebrations that followed the third goal, while Diario Hoy published a striking poster front page of Messi and Álvarez with the simple headline “Epic”.

Argentina’s biggest newspaper, Clarín, said Lionel Scaloni’s side “knew how to be patient” and “endured” Croatia’s pressure, but were “unstoppable” in the key moments. And the Argentina captain’s magical performance means that “whatever happens in the final, it is already Messi’s World Cup”.

Ole claimed that, in their talismanic No 10, Argentina “have a player who does things that others don’t”.

How did the world’s media react?

Spain’s Mundo Deportivo asked the question on most football fans’ lips after Argentina’s third goal: “How did [Messi] do that?”

It said his fleet-footed dismantling of Josko Gvardiol was “a move for the history of World Cups”.

La Vanguardia, meanwhile, suggested “Messi will have a new opportunity on Sunday to embroider his long-awaited star, to finish his crusade. To levitate and sit with Diego”.

According to Marca, Messi “led by example” but his fellow goalscorer Alvarez “stole the show”.

How did the teams react?

Lionel Messi:

“Well, what I can say is that I am enjoying this a lot. I am feeling really good.

“This is what we’ve been doing in every match. The previous match was a big sacrifice and we went into extra time. That wasn’t easy.

“Today we were tired but we pulled our strengths to earn this victory.

“We played very well. We knew that we would play this way. We prepared this a lot because we knew they wouldn’t have the ball because we would need to run in this match and then keep our chances.

“So, as I say, I think we prepared this match in a very good way, as we always do.

“And, personally, I can say that I feel very happy in this whole World Cup. I am enjoying it a lot and luckily enough I am able to help my whole squad to make things happen”.

Croatia coach Zlatko Dalic:

“We had ball possession but didn’t create specific opportunities. We’ll not say we object to the referees but the first goal took the match in a different direction.

“I congratulate Argentina on reaching the final. Sometimes luck favours you, sometimes not. That’s the way it is. We have nothing to complain about.

“We had a lot of good situations, but we weren’t mobile. Especially in the attacking phase, we weren’t concrete. We lacked that one real attacker to break through. We didn’t do it.

“We know what we are and what we’re not. That’s it.

“When we conceded the third goal, it was really difficult to come back. It was a deserved defeat.

“If someone had offered us this before the World Cup, we would have accepted it, this is a great success for the Croatian national team and we are proud.

“Messi is the best player in the world, he was dangerous and he has quality. He has technique and put in a high level performance, it was the true Messi we expected to see”.

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Source: Telegraph

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