Mon, Jul


AFTER 90 minutes of pulsating action against Trinidad and Tobago in an international friendly encounter on Wednesday night, Argentine superstar Lionel Messi has expressed his appreciation for the quality of the opposition.

The game at the Estadio Monumental Stadium in Buenos Aires was used by the Argentines ahead of their campaign in the FIFA World Cup in Brazil starting on Thursday of next week. Argentina expectedly won the match convincingly 3-0 but the Barcelona star who is now considered the best player in the world, failed to score on Wednesday as he was ably kept at bay by the TT defence.

And after the match Messi, who captained the South American powerhouse during the encounter, spoke to live television cameras immediately following the final whistle saying, “We finished strongly but Trinidad and Tobago were opponents who closed up at the back like some teams in the group will do (in Brazil).”

He added, “I think the match was a good one. We scored the first goal late in the first half but we were strong and the (Argentina) team looked good in many parts of the match. Trinidad and Tobago were not a bad team.”

“They had some players who were strong and also fast. We are preparing for the World Cup and these kind of games are good for us” Messi added.

As Messi spoke to reporters as he exited the field, some of the TT players who did not take the field during the 90 minutes had the opportunity to get up close to the player who will now lead his team into another friendly against Slovenia this weekend.

T&T midfielder Ataullah Guerra, who grabbed headlines for the way he greeted the Barcelona star during the meeting of the teams, said he had no regrets over his action. Guerra appeared to have conceded defeat even before the match had started with his gesture to bow to the Argentina ace as he greeted him before the game got going.

And when quizzed about it Guerra said, “He is a football God. This was an amazing experience for all of us. Just to be on the same field with him was great.”

“To see the way he controlled the ball was something we will never forget. I think we all learned a lot from this game today. I thought my greeting to him was a mark of respect also and he seemed to appreciate it. There was no problem with that,” the Central FC and former Finnish-based professional said.