Videos of Argentina’s wild celebrations in the locker room after beating Mexico in the World Cup on Saturday have surfaced, with Lionel Scaloni and his team partying for more than an hour after full time. Lionel Messi inspired his nation to win the crucial Group C clash 2-0 at the Lusail Iconic Stadium.
Argentina entered the game knowing that defeat would condemn them to a group stage exit in what is expected to be Messi’s final World Cup campaign. And it was the 35-year-old who stepped up and made the difference, as he often does, to respond to the shock 2-1 loss against Saudi Arabia earlier in the week.
Messi produced a sensational low shot to the bottom corner from outside the box in the 64th minute before setting up Enzo Fernández’s curl in the dying embers to seal a memorable victory in front of the 88,966 fans in attendance. And how much it meant to Scaloni’s squad became clear after the final whistle.
Messi and company enjoyed joyful celebrations on the pitch, announcing the support of the fans, before taking the party to the locker room. A video on Nicolás Otamendi’s Instagram story provided an insight into the scenes, which showed a topless Messi and goalkeeper Emi Martínez dancing on a table in the center of the room.
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The Argentines were jumping up and down and pounding on the walls while singing in celebration, leading to Messi delaying collecting his Man of the Match award and completing post-match press functions. Miguel Delaney, journalist from Lusail, reported the ‘bocadillo’ continued beyond an hour after the match ended and Messi did not appear to speak to reporters until 1:30am local time.
After enjoying the victory with his teammates, Messi admitted that he was not happy with his performance in the first half, but praised how the team played after calming down after the break. And the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner said the 2-0 win marked the start of ‘another World Cup’ for Argentina, considered by many to be one of the tournament favourites.
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He said: “Today another World Cup begins for Argentina. I tell the people the same thing that they continue to believe. Today we did what we had to do. We had no other choice. We had to win, so we depended only on ourselves.” .
“The first half we didn’t play as we should and in the second, when we calmed down, we began to play the ball better, and until the goal, we went back to being what we are.”
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