Argentina forward Angel Di Maria has refused to take any credit for his pass to Lionel Messi before the PSG star rifled home a key goal to break the deadlock against Mexico.
- Ronaldo “knew” interview would lead to Man Utd exit with new bombshell revealed
- Vertonghen takes swipe at Kevin De Bruyne & Eden Hazard after Belgium defeat
- Barcelona star names Man Utd as the only other club he would join
La Albiceleste needed to avoid defeat on Saturday to remain in the World Cup, but anything less than a victory would have dented their hopes of progressing beyond the group stage in what is surely Messi’s last hurrah at the competition.
With Mexico’s defence proving difficult to break down, tension was growing among the Argentine fans but as he done so many times, Messi was on hand to step up when he was needed the most. His goal wouldn’t have been possible without Di Maria giving him the pass.
Despite this, the Juventus player was in no mood to take any plaudits for his pass. “I threw him a turd, but he always finds solutions to everything. What matters is that the ball got to him.”
Di Maria went on to explain how Messi’s tactical nous actually played a major part in the goal, with the PSG superstar noticing a shift in the Mexico set-up that would allow him the space required to deliver the all-important strike.
“We had spoken a minute before [the goal],” Di Maria added. “He said they were dropping deep, narrow, inside [the area] and so the space in front of them would appear, to try to give it to him there. I waited for that moment to appear and gave it to him. And he scored a tremendous goal. I don’t have words any more.
“I have had the chance to play with the best player in the world at club level, and for 14 years with the national team, and for me Leo is everything.”
Messi also gave his thoughts after the match, confessing that three points against Mexico was a weight off his shoulders after the humiliation at the hands of Saudi Arabia, who enjoyed one of the most memorable World Cup upsets when they won 2-1.
“Given the defeat we didn’t expect the days were very long and we were eager to have the chance to turn it around,’ said Messi.
“We knew this was a critical game because if didn’t win we were out and if we won we had another chance. “Luckily we won and it is a weight off our shoulders, a reason for joy and peace of mind because it is all down to us again.”