“For me, the national team is over. I’ve done all I can. It hurts not to be a champion…It was the thing I wanted the most, but I couldn’t get it, so I think it’s over.” These are the words Lionel Messi uttered following Argentina’s Copa America final defeat to Chile, and once again, the significance and truth behind the sentiment rings loud and clear.
FIFA Men's World Cup
Scotland’s dreams of qualifying for their first major international tournament since the 1998 World Cup were given a major shot in the arm following a dramatic 1-0 victory over Slovakia before a bonkers crowd at Hampden Park in Glasgow.
Argentina vs Peru is certainly today’s international soccer highlight as Messi risks getting left out of the World Cup. The game is massive because it also involves Peru’s illusion of making it to the world championship after 35 years. It is a match that has paralyzed both countries. Over 4,000 Peruvians are cheering for Peru in Buenos Aires alone.
In a move that’s been coming for some months, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay officially announced their bid to host the 2030 World Cup on Wednesday in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Argentina and Uruguay have been indicating a joint bid since July and Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez wore jerseys promoting the bid before recent World Cup qualifiers. Paraguay only recently hitched onto the bid process.
Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski is now Poland's all-time leading scorer after nailing two free kicks in the first half of a World Cup qualifier against Armenia Thursday, plus a tap-in in the second half. Lewandowski's hat trick gives him 50 international goals, including 15 in the current World Cup qualifying campaign.
First, Lewandowski lined up a superb free-kick to put Poland up 2-0.
Syria salvaged an improbable 1-1 draw with Australia in the first leg of their qualifying playoff to keep their World Cup dream alive, but the Socceroos are still in control of this tie having scored a vital away goal ahead of the return leg in Sydney on Tuesday, October 10.
Perhaps more than any other weekend every four years, this upcoming (extended) weekend from Thursday to Tuesday defines a nation’s success on the world football stage. Playoffs aside, this is the final week of World Cup qualifiers, and it’s going to be absolutely bonkers.
There is so much at stake for so many countries from traditional powers (Argentina, Netherlands) to the incredible underdogs (Syria, Iceland) and everyone in between. Only a handful of teams have already qualified and an incredible amount are still in the running.
With Germany needing just a point from its match against Northern Ireland in Belfast, it was never really a question of if, but when. The answer was less than two minutes into the match. Sebastian Rudy hit a stunning long-range strike less than 80 seconds into the game and a relaxed Germany coasted to a 3-1 win over Northern Ireland to book its spot in next summer’s World Cup on Thursday.
Tomorrow night, Argentina host Peru at La Bombonera in Buenos Aires knowing that victory will send them above the visitors and into CONMEBOL’s automatic qualifying places before their final match away to Ecuador on Tuesday. All eyes will be on Lionel Messi and the ever-improving Paulo Dybala as La Albiceleste attempt to safely navigate an unfathomable disaster, but Argentina’s entire World Cup qualifying campaign shows that nothing will go according to script.