Fans chanted his name throughout Argentina’s opening game even though he wasn’t on the pitch, against Panama, but they eventually got to see their hero in action.

With Argentina leading by a goal and half an hour to play, Lionel Messi was introduced and in typical fashion, he lit up the tournament with his brilliance. The attacker bagged a hat trick and set up a fifth goal to help Argentina to a comfortable win and send them through to the next round. Argentines will be hoping their talisman maintains this blitz all the way in search of an elusive continental title.

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