Lionel Messi’s remarkable two-goal performance against Peru last night served as a gentle reminder of why the Argentine is the favorite to win the 2023 Ballon d’Or.
However, it is a clever move by a Manchester City star that has been the topic of conversation.
While reports suggest that Messi is leading the race for his eighth Ballon d’Or, the Inter Miami’s prized asset graced the Estadio Nacional de Lima in Peru and once again displayed his incredible talent to the world, as he has done countless times in the past.
Lionel Messi shines for Argentina vs Peru
The first goal for Argentina started with Chelsea star Enzo Fernandez, whose driving run forward opened up the pitch. He laid off Nicolas Gonzalez on the left-hand side of the box, who played it into the feet of Messi whose perfectly timed run allowed the ball to come off his left foot without breaking stride and across the goal into the top-right corner.
Oh my, Messi! 🇦🇷🤩
— Major League Soccer (@MLS) October 18, 2023
Clearly determined to show that age can’t displace talent, Messi, with one goal to his name, was weaving in and out of Peruvian defenders on the byline, showing them to the floor and leaving them embarrassed, in a moment that embodied the brilliance of the Argentine.
Despite the first goal being a wonderful finish, it is the second goal of the night that got people up and on their feet with Manchester City star Julian Alvarez, despite not touching the ball, showing just how important intelligence is within football.
Julian Alvarez’s stunning dummy for Messi goal
It came when Enzo Fernandez, again, played a ball across the box. In what looked like a collaboration of Premier League Argentinians, the ball was seemingly going to be met by a Julian Alvarez strike, with the young striker positioning his body and moving in such a way that would convince you he is about to strike across the ball, but despite moving with all the momentum of a man who was going for goal, he let the ball go through his legs and into the path of Messi.
This angle shows Alvarez leaving the ball for Messi, who then scores. Perfection. pic.twitter.com/iehwNShImK
— J. 🇵🇸 (@Messilizer) October 18, 2023
Messi, who had practically shadowed Alvarez on this run, must’ve known something we didn’t as he was placed right behind his teammate to sweep the ball into the bottom left corner and finish a seamless Argentinian move which saw them go two-up which was enough to seal a simple victory in World Cup qualifying.