Lionel Messi speaks out on talk of ankle injury after Argentina get vital win | Football
Lionel Messi has dismissed concerns he is carrying an ankle problem following Argentina’s victory over Mexico.
The legendary no10 drilled home a superb effort after 64 minutes as Argentina bounced back after a tournament-opening defeat to Saudi Arabia with a 2-0 win on Saturday night.
Enzo Fernandez curled home a fine effort of his own as Argentina kept their World Cup hopes alive, with victory over Poland on Wednesday enough to see them qualify as group winners after their early scare.
Messi trained this week but images appearing to show a swollen ankle caused concern on social media.
The Paris Saint-Germain star revealed he had suffered a minor knock in the final minutes of the defeat to Saudi Arabia but dismissed any lingering fears it could disrupt his World Cup.
“I don’t know why they talk so much about my injury,’ Messi told COPE. ‘They talk about my ankle and the truth is I don’t have anything, I had nothing all week.
‘In the last minute of the first game I twisted my ankle, but afterwards I trained normally. I trained normally, as well as the group, I never trained alone.’
A second defeat for Argentina would have sent them crashing out of the competition at the group stage but with their destiny back in their own hands, they can qualify for the knock-out stages as group winners if they secure victory over Poland on Wednesday.
‘We lived with discomfort given the defeat in the opening match [against Saudi Arabia] was something we didn’t expect,’ Messi said.
‘The days felt very long and we were eager to have the chance to turn it around. We knew it was a critical game.
‘Luckily we had the option to win and it was a weight off our shoulders, a reason for joy and peace of mind because it is all down to us again.’
He added: “I tell people the same thing, that they continue to believe. Today we did what we had to do.
‘We had no other choice. We had to win so that we depended only on ourselves.’
MORE : Lionel Messi and Enzo Fernandez keep Argentina’s World Cup hopes alive in victory over Mexico
MORE : Gary Neville and Roy Keane blast ‘poor’ Argentina star and label him ‘Man Utd’s worst ever signing’ at Qatar World Cup
For more stories like this, check our sport page.
Follow Metro Sport for the latest news on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.