- Scored opener after 30 minutes
- Added a second shortly before half time
- Making first start in a month
WHAT HAPPENED? In the 32nd minute of the Albiceleste’s World Cup qualifier against Peru, Messi ghosted to the top of the box, and awaited the inevitable cutback. Nico Gonzalez provided it, slotting a pass perfectly onto the left foot of the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner, who whipped an emphatic finish into the top corner.
🔥 ¡GOLAZO DE LIONEL MESSI!
— Fanatiz (@Fanatiztv) October 18, 2023
His second looked remarkably similar, albeit with a lower finish that left the Peru goalkeeper helpless.
Highlights: Peru 0-2 Argentina
THE BIGGER PICTURE: The goal came in Messi’s first start for either club or country since mid-September, when the Argentine picked up a troublesome injury. The performance marks his return to form and is a reminder why he’s a finalist for the 2023 Ballon D’Or.
WHAT NEXT? Argentina lead Peru 2-0 at half time, and will look to clinch three crucial points in 2026 World Cup qualification.