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Lionel Messi toasts 'spectacular' Argentina teammate Enzo Fernandez following World Cup stunner against Mexico

1:44 am AEDT 28/11/22
Enzo Fernandez Lionel Messi Argentina 2022
Lionel Messi showered praise on teammate Enzo Fernandez after their goals helped Argentina to a crucial win over Mexico on Saturday.
  • Messi screamer opened scoring against Mexico
  • Fernandez solo effort made it 2-0
  • Messi hailed importance of 21-year-old

WHAT HAPPENED? Messi's long range screamer just after the hour mark was matched by Fernandez's solo run and curling effort as Argentina celebrated a vital 2-0 win over Mexico. Messi stressed the importance of the 21-year-old for the Albiceleste, as his goal settled the nerves in a cagey Group C matchup.

WHAT THEY SAID: "I know Enzo very well, here from the national team and I also played against him in the Champions League," Messi said. "He deserves it, because he’s a spectacular kid and a very important player for us. I’m very happy for him and for us, because the goal he scored gave us peace of mind in the game. We didn’t expect to start the World Cup with a loss, so we wanted to turn the situation around. Enzo’s great goal ended the game and now we can face the game against Poland in a different way.”

THE BIGGER PICTURE: The result leaves Argentina with three points on the board following a disastrous start to the tournament against Saudi Arabia. Messi's strike takes his World Cup tally up to two goals, as his heroics once again hauled his team out of trouble. The relief was visible for all to see on the Argentina bench, as Messi's screamer reduced assistant coach Pablo Aimar to tears.

IN THREE PHOTOS:

DID YOU KNOW? Messi is now both the youngest (18y 357d vs Serbia in 2006) and the oldest (35y 155d vs Mexico, Saturday) player to both score and assist in a single World Cup game since the start of the 1966 tournament.

WHAT NEXT FOR ARGENTINA? After goals from Messi and Fernandez secured the three points in a must-win game against Mexico, Argentina will need to beat Poland on matchday 3 to be sure of qualification to the last 16.