Messiah Messi silences his dwindling critics

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The defining performance from Lionel Messi for Argentina came at just the right time with a brilliant hat-trick putting the Albiceleste in Russia 2018

“What I have always asked of Messi is what he did yesterday. If he really was the best player in the world, he had to save us and he did.”

Journalist Martín Liberman has long been one of Lionel Messi’s harshest critics on Argentinian television: The mouth-piece for a diminishing few, who are still not convinced by the Barcelona star’s greatness. However, Messi’s stunning hat-trick in Quito dragged a forlorn Albiceleste to next summer’s World Cup, forcing Liberman and many of his disciples to swallow their words.

Diego Maradona’s 1986 heroics, Pelé’s hat-trick of World Cups and even modern-day rival Cristiano Ronaldo lifting the European Championships with Portugal have all been used to beat Messi over a supposed failure on the biggest stage.

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