'I threw him a turd' - Di Maria refuses assist credit for Messi's decisive Argentina goal vs Mexico

Messi Di Maria World Cup 2022
Angel Di Maria has played down his role in Lionel Messi's crucial goal for Argentina against Mexico at the 2022 World Cup.
  • Argentina beat Mexico 2-0
  • Messi scored opener
  • Di Maria refuses to claim assist

WHAT HAPPENED? Argentina picked up their first win of the Qatar tournament on Saturday by beating Mexico 2-0 in Group C. Di Maria rolled the ball across to Messi to break the deadlock with an effort from outside the penalty area but has played down his role in the opening goal.

WHAT THEY SAID: “I threw him a turd, but he always finds solutions to everything," The Juventus star said after the game. “What matters is that the ball got to him. We had spoken a minute before [the goal]. He said they were dropping deep, narrow, inside [the area] and so the space in front of them would appear, to try to give it to him there. I waited for that moment to appear and gave it to him. And he scored a tremendous goal. I don’t have words any more. I have had the chance to play with the best player in the world at club level, and for 14 years with the national team, and for me Leo is everything."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Argentina were shocked 2-1 by Saudi Arabia in their opening World Cup game and had struggled to break down Mexico until Messi finally broke the deadlock on 64 minutes. Messi's goal paved the way for Lionel Scaloni's side to go on to win 2-0 and clinch a vital victory that keeps their hopes of qualification to the last 16 alive.

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Messi Mexico

 Messi Argentina 2022

Messi Di Maria

DID YOU KNOW? Messi has now scored as many World Cup goals as Diego Maradona (8), with only Gabriel Batistuta (10) netting more for Argentina at the tournament overall. Indeed, since 1966, only Rivellino (5) has scored more World Cup goals from outside the box than Messi (4).

WHAT NEXT FOR ARGENTINA? La Albiceleste take on Poland on Wednesday and will qualify for the knockout stages with a win.