Argentina’s qualification for the Russia 2018 World Cup seemed to look like winning the World Cup itself, after Leo Messi scored a hat-trick to send Argentina to her 12th consecutive World Cup.
For a nation that had enjoyed 11 consecutive world cup in a row, missing out on the 12th and probably the last world cup for some Argentine big players such as Messi, Aguero, Mascherano and others, would have been a big blow.
For a player like Lionel Messi who had announced his resignation sometime in July 2016, failing to qualify for the world cup would definitely mean the end of it for him. May be he need not announce it again, but any right thinking person would guess right.
BBC Sport reported that Messi said it would have been “crazy” had Argentina not qualified for Russia 2018, but it also took his intervention to ensure they reached their 12th consecutive World Cup.
Prior to the final of the 2014 Fifa World Cup final between Argentina and Germany which they eventually lost, a group of Nuns had celebrated outside Vatican city with the jersey of Lionel Messi, hoping that Argentina would win the tournament, but it went the way of Germany.
Obviously, even the World governing football body FIFA would have felt the absence of the five-time ballon D’or winner who probably would be looking up to the Russia 2018 world cup as an opportunity to win the trophy, after helping his side reach the final during the 2014 edition.
The situation would have become worse in Argentina, as some female Argentina fans who ran out to celebrate following their qualification for the World Cup in 2018 would probably had a bad day.
More so, the absence of Argentina in the Russia 2018 World Cup would mean so much to the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi who are arguably his rivals.
May be some Nigerian fans would have also been happy, after the Argentine side had beaten them in all of their four meetings at the World Cup in 1994, 2002, 2010 and 2014.