Argentine star Lionel Messi has exactly 90 minutes to make significant impact that could determine if Argentina would be in Russia next year for the FIFA World Cup. If Argentina fails to qualify, it would be a huge embarrassment.
The 30-year-old Barcelona forward understands that this could be his last World Cup for his country and at such needs to ensure he plays a vital role towards helping his country qualify.
So far in this World Cup campaign for Argentina, the dependence on the Barcelona forward has become overwhelming. Of the 17 matches Argentina have played, Messi missed eight and Argentina managed to secure just seven points.
The five-time ballon d’or winner announced his retirement from international football immediately after the third consecutive final defeat in July last year, but rescinded. Subsequently, Argentina enjoyed three record wins which could be ascribed to the Barcelona forward and this proved that his decision to continue playing was in the best interest of the country.
Hence, the burden of qualifying Argentina to the World Cup will be shouldered by Lionel Messi when his side face Ecuador at Quito in the early hours of tomorrow, no other player will be looked up to and the unfortunate thing is that Argentina last recorded a victory there in 2001.