First match in 18 months with a crowd in attendance. The Estadio El Monumental witnessed history as Leo Messi’s hattrick made the soccer legend surpass another legend(Pele)’s record of most international goals by a South American. The record keeping may be a little controversial but that is not taking away the skill that Messi has. Record keeping in Pele’s era was dodgy to say the least. Most friendlies played in that era flew under the radar of the governing body but hey who am I to dispute the “statisticians”. The win for Albiceleste cements their position in second place 6 points behind run away leader Brazil who have an 8 out of 8 record. No UK based players for Argentina after the controversy of Sunday night but solid display from the center back partnership of Otamendi(Portugal based) and Pezzella(Spanish based). Give Leo time and space he will punish you, he doesn’t need a lot of space just the bare minimum. Just check out the first goal. The nut meg did it for me.
Bolivia didn’t offer much on attack and have a feel of a side who struggle playing away from their high altitude home. They may have given up on qualification now based on this result but they missed a real chance to play spoilers here. I love Argentina with Di Maria and Messi roving from wing to wing, it certainly suits them playing without an out an out striker which is bad news to the likes of Kun Aguero. I know this now sounds cliche but watching Leo is a bit like playstation. The movement almost robotic only that it’s real life and before you know it he has gone off to celebrate the goal. Check out the second goal, the cream of the three. Lantauro equally good. The Bolivian keeper Lampe did his best in the build up to the third goal but he got absolutely no help from his defenders.