It was Messi’s first game back with Argentina after he infamously announced he was retiring from international football in the wake of Argentina’s Copa America final defeat to Chile this summer.
Having lost three finals with the national team (another Copa America final and the World Cup final), Messi felt he could no longer take the trauma, and felt that it was best for everyone that he walked away, as if he was cursed or something.
But having been moved by the amazing show of support he was shown by Argentines, who beckoned and implored him to come back with messages of love and encouragement, Messi made a U-turn on his decision.
Not only was it his first game back with the national team, but it had the extra edge of pitting him against one of his best friend, Barcelona teammate Luis Suarez.
Along with Neymar, Messi and Suarez have one of the most lethal partnerships in world football, but they had to put their club allegiances to one side last night, with their respective nations’ pride on the line.
And they spiced things up before kick-off with some UFC-style trash talk.
Conor McGregor would be proud.
— Barcastuff (@barcastuff_real) September 2, 2016