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Messi finally at center stage for Argentina in Copa America / Messi Video

Messi showed finally his skills in Copa America 2011
Messi showed finally his skills for Argentina in Copa America 2011

Lionel Messi played up to expectations and led an Argentina squad in crisis into the quarter-finals of the Copa America. Messi Goal Video

After two disappointing matches, wcich ended in mere draws, Messi produced a great performance to help Argentina to a comfortable 3-0 win over Costa Rica, just when it seemed the host nation of Argentina was on the brink of a humiliating group-stage exit.

He set up two goals with his assists and played at the vaunted level he so often displays with Barcelona but which so often has eluded him on the international stage with Argentina.

The Estadio Mario Alberto Kempes packed with crowd, loudly chanted for their star playmaker “Ole, ole, ole, ole … Messi, Messi”.

Messi was quiet in Argentina’s draws in first matches against Bolivia and Colombia but, on Monday, he reminded everyone why he is considered by many to be the best football player in the world.

“Lionel knows how to overcome these situations. He has personality to overcome them and, today, he showed it on the field,” said Argentina coach Sergio Batista. “He played a tremendous match.”

Messi lifts Argentina

Messi controlled the game for Argentina, keeping the ball at his feet and working his team-mates into position to score several times and Argentina got the prize for it at the end of the first half, when Kun Aguero scored with a shot, reflected earlier by Costa Rican keeper.

He was growing visibly frustrated after each miss by the strikers, whom he was feeding continously but Sergio Aguero finally capitalised on a chance created by the Barcelona star in the 52nd minute.

Messi took the ball at the top of the penalty box and rolled it perfectly to the left for Aguero’s shot from inside the area to make it 2-0.

The third goal came in the 63rd, when Messi sent a perfect through ball at the perfect speed for winger Angel Di Maria’s first-time shot from inside the area.

Argentina joined Group A winners Colombia in the quarter finals in Copa America 2011.

Messi   Argentina – Costa Rica Copa America Game Video

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