Lionel Messi said Argentina have finally arrived at the World Cup after his goal helped beat Mexico 2-0 at Lusail Stadium.
Shocked by Saudi Arabia in their opening game in Group C, Argentina bounced back Saturday to put themselves in position to qualify ahead of their final match against Poland on Wednesday.
Defeat against Mexico would have meant an early exit in Qatar.
But Messi, who scored the first goal with a wonderful touch and finish in the second half, said Argentina’s campaign is finally underway.
“We knew that today we had to win, that another World Cup started for us and we knew what to do,” he said. “We cannot let our guard down now and we have all finals left.
“We knew that the response from our fans would be like this and I think we complied.”
With his goal, Messi drew level with Diego Maradona’s number of World Cup goals and appearances.
The 35-year-old captain has scored two of Argentina’s three goals here in Qatar. Messi is Argentina’s all-time top scorer, led them to Copa America glory last year and has won the Ballon d’Or a record seven times.