Lionel Messi and the Argentina national team are three wins away from giving the Paris Saint-Germain star the storybook ending that will see him lift the 2022 FIFA World Cup trophy.
Nonetheless, the Netherlands stands in the South American nation’s way. Brighton & Hove Albion star midfielder Alexis Mac Allister spoke about Messi’s mentality to win the tournament as he discussed what has surprised him the most, being in Qatar.
“It’s difficult to single out one player from our national team,” Mac Allister said (h/t Daily Mail). “We know Leo and he surprises us every day. I would say it’s Leo Messi. He does unbelievable stuff, both in training and in matches. He seems happy and that is very important to us.”
Mac Allister has benefitted from experiencing a World Cup with Messi, says a former Brighton & Hove Albion striker Warren Aspinall, who believes Messi is behind the 23-year-old’s breakout tournament.
“Thankfully [Mac Allister] signed his new contract just before going out to the World Cup as he is looking just as good out there or even better than he was for Brighton before he left,” Aspinall told the Albion Unlimited podcast. “I think playing with better players, no disrespect to the Brighton players, but you can learn a lot from [Lionel] Messi and players like that.
The veteran forward knows what’s at stake, and while he takes the downtime at the World Cup to appear on Sergio Aguero’s Twitch channel, Messi knows when it’s time to get serious, the light switch goes on.
Against the Netherlands, many on the team will need to follow that lead as they face an opponent that is just as good as them.