Has Lionel Messi faced Nigeria on African soil?

Has Lionel Messi faced Nigeria on African soil?

Lionel Messi is arguably the greatest player that played the game and till date, he still a force to reckon with in football.

The Argentine began his glittering career with the national U-20s in a World Cup hosted by the Netherlands in 2005. This was his first meeting with the Nigerian side that had Mikel Obi in the squad.

Messi scored two penalties that won the tournament in the finals against a Samson Siasia led Nigerian side to lift the tournament's trophy.

Three years later, the U-23 team of Argentina and Nigeria clashed again at the finals of football event at the Beijing Olympics in 2008.

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The young Argentine squad again, with Messi's influence, got the better of Nigeria by a lone gone scored by Angel Di Maria to win gold for the South Americans.

At the senior level, the teams clashed at the 2010 World Cup which was hosted by South Africa and a Gabriel Heinze header made the difference with Messi captaining the side in the 1-0 win.

In 2011, an international friendly was organized between Nigeria and Argentina in Abuja, but Messi and host of other players could not make the trip as they received a 4-1 thrashing from a Siasia led Super Eagles.

Another friendly that same year was played between both nations in Bangladesh and this time, Messi and co were present and it ended 3-1 in favour of the Albiceleste.

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Nigerian were grouped alongside Argentina again at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil and it was a keenly contested affair as it ended in a 3-2 win to the South Americans with Messi and Ahmed Musa scoring a brace each.

Before the 2018 World Cup, Nigeria came from two-goals down to defeat Argentina 4-2 in an international friendly but the Barcelona talisman was not in the contest.

After the draws for the 2018 World Cup was conducted, both nations found themselves in the same group and will face each other in their last match.

The thrilling game ended in a 2-1 win to Argentina with Messi scoring one of the goals of the tournament.

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Messi will never forget Nigeria as a nation because he has never lost to the West Africans whenever he plays against them at international level.

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Source: Legit

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