The football world reacts to Lionel Messi's heroics

The football world reacts to Lionel Messi's heroics

Speaking afterwards, Messi said: 'There was always the fear of coming here to play.

Ecuador had a solid run in this CONMEBOL region, now eighth with 20 points but its World Cup aspirations are already over.

In South America, as many as six teams - Uruguay, Chile, Colombia, Peru, Argentina and Paraguay - kicked-off their final encounters knowing they could still secure one of the automatic qualification places. They should consider themselves lucky as they are going to play against a team, Ecuador, who have already been eliminated from the competition. As we celebrate this phenomenal victory, here is a look at the top 5 most memorable hat-tricks scored by Messi. "The group deserved to qualify".

Messi, who scored a hat-trick against Ecuador, and his team overcame their own ghosts, woke up from their nightmare and averted an elimination that would without a doubt have been a national disaster for football-crazy Argentina.

At a crucial moment, Argentina needed Messi to step in and avoid what could have been a humiliating exit.

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"A World Cup without Argentina and without Messi would be a catastrophe", he said on Super Deportivo Radio de Santa Fe.

"Let's hope we get a chance (to put the ghosts of the last World Cup to rest)". We had to play with that in mind. We ended up suffering to enter this World Cup and hopefully we will get it once and for all.

Lionel Messi is often considered as the best player in the world and regarded by many as the greatest of all time and these videos hint at why fans are insane about this sports legend.

Ecuador will have a different team for this clash as the many of their veterans including Walter Ayovi and Alexander Dominguez have been left out.

And on November 19, Ronaldo, the Ballon d'Or incumbent, hit a hat-trick that propelled his side to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil courtesy of a 3-2 win over Sweden on the night and a 4-2 win on aggregate.

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