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Messi Out to inspire Argentina to Glory in 1000th career game

By Isaac Akugizibwe

Argentina’s title credentials begin to be tested tonight when they face lowly rated Australia in the second match of the last sixteen that kicks off earlier with the USA and Netherlands encounter.

The South America champions go into tonight’s tie as favourites but with the upsets and melodrama witnessed in the group stage,there can be no guarantee that all will go as expected but with Messi needing the world cup on his cv, Argentina might be huge an opponent for Australia.

The 35 year old PSG forward is playing his 1000th career game for club and country and will look to cement his milestone with a goal or more when he meets Graham Arnold’s men at Ahmad Bin Ali stadium.

The Rosario born sensation will win his 169th cap on top of 778 games for Barcelona and 53 matches for his current club Paris St-Germain as he looks to keep up with close competitor Cristiano Ronaldo of Portugal.

Messi and Ronaldo have been the most outstanding and competitive duo in World football for the last 20 years and the pair have their eyes on the World cup crown in pursuit of the GOAT status. The two have seen a renewal of their rivalry in Qatar and the debate is likely to intensify if both Portugal and Argentina progress to the quarter finals.

A world cup winners medal for either Ronaldo or Messi will automatically present a major twist in the Greatest of All times (GOAT) debate and that is one reason why Messi won’t afford to settle for less starting tonight.

Despite missing a penalty against Poland, Leo is yet to disappoint in Qatar with two goals to his name while looking lively and dangerous. He has been key to Lionel Scaloni’s side’s redemption and will surely be the man to avoid tonight.

Australia have been at the knockout stage of the FIFA World cup only once, a 1-0 loss to Italy in the last 16 in 2006. Today will be their second time and will hope to bank on lessons their coach Graham Arnold might have picked while a player against Italy in Berlin, 2006.

Argentina are second after Brazil as favourites to win the world cup but their group stage performance has since left their suitors with doubts though all hope is not lost and they have proved their capability as a team.Follow Us

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