Leo Messi he was at the peak of his powers in 2014 World Championship.
After cheating in South Africa four years ago and failing to score a single goal, the little genius came to life in the Brazilian edition of the tournament.
Despite Argentina being defeated in the final by Mario Gotze’s dramatic goal in extra time, Messi was named the tournament’s best player.
That Barcelona Legende has the World Cup Ballon d’Or as part of his vast collection of individual awards.
Who did Messi mark in the 2014 World Cup in Russia??
Messi finished the tournament with four goals, all scored in the group stage.
That Paris Saint Germain The striker scored in narrow wins over Bosnia and Herzegovina and Iran before netting twice in a 3-2 win over Nigeria, which Argentina appear to play in every World Cup.
All the goals that Messi scored in Brazil were of great quality, although one of them stands out above the others.
We are talking, of course, about his sensational last-minute goal against Iran.
Everyone seemed that Argentina would have to settle for a boring draw against the Asian nation, who defended superbly throughout the match, it must be said.
But in a brilliant moment, Messi, after receiving it from Ezequiel Lavezzi, deflected the ball to his iconic left passer, took aim from around 25 yards and then shot the ball perfectly into the far corner.
It really was an outrageously good goal from the champions and the BBC’s commentary was almost as good as the strike itself.
As soon as Messi picked up the ball, Jonathan Pearce said: “Give it to him and pray.”
The rest is history…
Video: The great commentary on Messi’s miracle goal against Iran
It may have been more than eight years since the lens, but we still get goosebumps looking at the images above.
“When in doubt, give it to the wizard,” Pearce said after Messi’s win, a line many of Messi’s teammates have adhered to over the years.
What did Messi show in the round of 16 of the 2014 World Cup in Russia?
Following his group stage masterclasses, Messi played a key role in another late drama, assisting Ángel Di María’s extra-time winners against Switzerland in the round of 16.
The 35-year-old went without goals or assists for the rest of the tournament, although his performances, perhaps far from the final, were quite good.
Can Messi and Argentina do better in Qatar? Well, as the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner played in 2022/23, it would be foolish to bet against Lionel Scaloni’s side…