Lionel Messi sends Argentina to World Cup with a stunning hat-trick – and the memes keep coming for dancing superstar



Posted Thursday, October 12, 2017 by Thesun.co.uk

LIONEL MESSI danced with delight after single-handedly dragging Argentina to the World Cup with another stunning hat-trick.

And afterwards he insisted it would have been a travesty if they had not qualified.

Lionel Messi sends Argentina to World Cup with a stunning hat-trick – and the memes keep coming for dancing superstar
Lionel Messi celebrates after his heroics saved Argentina

People have been queuing up to lavish praise on one of the all-time greats for his performance against Ecuador.

Two-time winners Argentina fell behind to an early goal and were in serious danger of missing the tournament for just the second time ever.

But Messi - who incredibly has never won an international tournament - stepped up with an exceptional performance, even for him.

The superstar said: "Everything came out perfect. We did not deserve to be in this situation because of everything we've been through in these qualifiers.

"It would have been crazy for Argentina, for us, for everyone (if we had not qualified) and yes, obviously that was the fear of that. But today we know how to play.

"It's important that we all get together, that the team plays well. If we all go hand in hand it's much easier.

"After this, I think there is going to be a big change, I think the team will grow well now we have qualified.

"We fought it, we suffer it and we could not not be inside because Argentina can not afford that."

For his first goal, the Barcelona superstar picked up the ball and played a neat one-two with Angel Di Maria before prodding the return past the helpless Ecuador keeper with the outside of his left-boot.

His second was even more special as he took an over-hit pass from Di Maria off a defender's toes and smashed home from just inside the area.

But the best was yet to come as Messi picked up the ball inside a trio of Ecuadorians and somehow find space to produce a stunning lob for his third.

Delighted boss Jorge Sampaoli said: "Today luckily the nationality of the best player in the world is Argentinian.

"We must be sure everything does not depend on Leo but today he showed his great ability.

"I told the group 'Messi did not owe the World Cup to Argentina, but football owed the World Cup to Messi'.

"We should help him be in at the World Cup."

And unsurprisingly, the internet was awash with praise for Messi - check out the best of the reaction below.

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