Mascherano to retire from internationals after 2018 World Cup

Christian Petersen Getty Images

Do you think Messi can win the World Cup with Argentina?

U2 delayed last night's Buenos Aires performance of their The Joshua Tree Tour so that local fans could watch their national soccer team compete in a desperate final match of World Cup qualifying play.

"Messi was what all Argentines wanted and asked for", Simeone told his pre-match press conference. Let us know in the comments section below. "I hope that with the time to prepare that we'll have, we can be competitive (in Russia) like we were today".

Mascherano started Tuesday's 3-1 South American qualifying victory in Ecuador that guaranteed Argentina a place at next year's finals in Russian Federation.

Producer Daniel Grinbank told Argentinian paper La Nacion, "Can you imagine what the show's going to be like if Argentina wins?"

Messi then put Argentina ahead in the 20th minute, firing a superb shot past Maximo Banguera into the top corner, and completed his hat-trick just past the hour, shaking off three exhausted Ecuador defenders before lifting the ball over the advancing goalkeeper and into the net.

Ronaldo, who is two years older than Messi, retains a fierce rivalry with the diminutive attacker and is determined to seal the Balon d'Or ahead of him.

The Albiceleste entered Tuesday's final round of South American group qualifiers in sixth place, outside the automatic World Cup places, reports Xinhua news agency.

That goal not only sent Panama to their first World Cup but ensured the United States would miss out.

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