Argentina superstar Lionel Messi played the full 90 minutes and later expressed his appreciation to the Trinidad and Tobago team for its challenge in Wednesday night’s friendly International at the Estadio Monumental in Buenos Aires.
Messi, captain of the Argentina team, spoke to live television cameras immediately following the final whistle after his team defeated the “Soca Warriors” 3-0.
“We finished strongly, Trinidad and Tobago were opponents who closed up at the back like some teams in the group will do (in Brazil),” Messi said.
“I think the match was a good one. We scored the first goal late in the opening half but we were strong and the (Argentina) team looked good in many parts of the match. Trinidad and Tobago were not a bad team. They had some players who were strong and also fast.
We are preparing for the World Cup and these kind of games are good for us,” Messi added.
As Messi spoke to reporters as he exited the field, some of the T&T players who did not take the field during the 90 minutes had the opportunity to get up close to the player who will now lead his team into another friendly against Slovenia.
T&T midfielder Ataullah Guerra, who grabbed headlines for the way he greeted the Barcelona star during the meeting of the teams, said he had no regrets over his decision to bow before Messi.
“He is a football God. This was an amazing experience for all of us. Just to be on the same field with him was great. To see the way he controlled the ball and his team was something we will never forget. I think we all learned a lot from this game today.
“I thought my greeting to him was a mark of respect also and he seemed to appreciate it. There was no problem with that,” the Central FC and former Finland-based professional told TTFA Media.
What the players said...
Justin Hoyte - ”It´s a lesson learned and we move on to the next game. We will keep on trying, keep on plugging until we play the fabulous way we want to play.”
Sheldon Bateau - “We lost the game, but at times I think we played well. We stood up.”
Kenwyne Jones, captain - “At some points we played well,” Jones said although disappointed with mistakes which led to Argentina´s goals. “It´s a learning curve. Argentina is one of the very best in the world and the level they are playing at, is where we want to be.”
Khaleem Hyland - “It was a learning experience.”
Jan-Michael William - “I think we are truly disappointed to concede just before the half. Everything we did in training was working up to that point. But I think we did really well against that type of opposition.”