Paris Saint-Germain star Lionel Messi has celebrated Argentina’s dramatic win over Russia at the futsal World Cup, sending his countrymen a message in a selfie from his sofa.
The 34-year-old knows a thing or two about beating the five-time World Cup winners in recent history.
In July, he landed his country their first major football silverware in 28 years – which was also his maiden international triumph – when he captained them to a 1-0 win in the Copa America final at the Maracana in Rio.
And in leading Argentina to a 1-0 win at Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium in 2017, seven months before the 2018 Russia World Cup, he also boasts a 100% record against Sbornaya.
One of the biggest clashes in #FutsalWC history has been set!
⚔️ It's the record champions against the reigning champions. It's Rodrigo, Pito, Ferrao and team-mates against Borruto, Brandi, Cuzzolino and Co. It's Brazil against Argentina in the Lithuania 2021 semi-finals! pic.twitter.com/qB7HRr0BrV
— FIFA.com (@FIFAcom) September 26, 2021
La Selección ya está en el Estadio Kaunas Arena, donde, a partir de las 12.30, jugará, ante Rusia, por los cuartos de final de la Copa Mundial de la @FIFAcom.
— Selección Argentina (@Argentina) September 26, 2021
With the soccer club season in full swing now, Messi watched the weekend’s international between Argentina and Russia at the Futsal World Cup in Lithuania, sending the Ballon d’Or holder into fan mode.
Following a 1-1 draw, Messi celebrated their dramatic 5-4 penalty shootout win via an Instagram story with a caption that read “Let’s go” and an Argentine flag.
Messi’s photo, taken alongside wife Antonella and their three sons, also caused speculation about the number of mirrors he has in his lounge and the exact location in Paris of his new home.
Where exactly is Messi's TV and how many mirrors does he have? This is dizzying. pic.twitter.com/WBp7viH6c9
— Daniel Edwards (@DanEdwardsGoal) September 26, 2021
The clash between Russia and Argentina was a repeat of the 2016 final, which Messi’s compatriots also won.
The coach of that win, Diego Giustozzi, was there to cheer them on, watching captain Leandro Cuzzolino thunder in a left-footed shot before one of the tallest players at the competition, 6ft 1in Artem Antoshkin, scored past goalkeeper Nicolas Sarmiento to force spot kicks.
After making a number of outstanding saves in regular time, Sarmiento was the hero of the hour
“When I saved the penalty, many things came to my mind,” he later said. “Emotions, joy and much suffering, but above all an immense joy.
“When the legs can’t do it, you win with your heart. It is the most beautiful thing.”
Lionel Messi back training with PSG. pic.twitter.com/H1gPPOfq4z
— Roy Nemer (@RoyNemer) September 27, 2021
— Marc Mechenoua (@LeMechenoua) September 27, 2021
“It‘s a pity that such great teams had to meet as early as the quarterfinals,” rued Antoshkin. “In the first half, we were trying to find our game. In the second half, we had the initiative but missed our chances.
“We could have scored from the 10-meter mark and gone through. The team did well; no one can be blamed for this loss. We fought until the end.”
Messi has returned to training today following a knee knock that kept him out of PSG’s 2-1 win at Metz on Wednesday, as well as Saturday’s 2-0 victory at home to Montpellier.
Although video footage seemed to show him completing a drill without problems, he now faces a race against time to be fit for a Champions League clash of the titans on Tuesday when Manchester City visit the Parc des Princes.
Brazil and Argentina face off in the Futsal World Cup final four on Wednesday.
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