Australia bounced back following their lopsided loss to France in the opening match of the 2022 FIFA World Cup. The Socceroos would finish second in their group and now face Lionel Messi and Argentina in the Round of 16.
Now how do they go about stopping the 35-year-old, who is the engine of the South American nation? Former Paris Saint-Germain manager Mauricio Pochettino provided some advice in a joking manner.
Simply, Australia can’t do much to stop the veteran forward.
“I always listen to people talking about that and people that were great playing against Messi – it impossible to stop him,” Pochettino told talkSPORT in a recent interview.
“It’s really, really difficult. He’s a genius, the best player in the world. These type of things you can only be lucky and try and get the ball back from him. I think it is a thing that is going to be good and see now the competition is going to be tough for all the team.”
After losing their first group-stage matchup against Saudi Arabia, the CONMEBOL side bounced back with wins over Mexico and Poland to finish first in Group C. Now, they’re facing Australia, a favorable matchup for them.
The Albiceleste can reach the quarterfinals. The situation of winning the competition for Messi will become intense as they’ll be close to the finish line and giving the PSG the storybook ending to cap off his international career.