Argentina coach Alejandro Sabella has hailed Lionel Messi as one of the greatest players of all time after his goal helped to see off Bosnia-Hezegovina.
Sabella said whatever happened at this World Cup, his captain had to go down as an all-time great.
Messi's goal in Argentina's opener came eight years after his first and only World Cup goal but will be remembered for quite some time, finished coolly after a great trademark run into the box.
However Sabella was reserved in his praise for Argentina's overall performance.
“On balance I would give it a six. We need to improve and part of that is in my hands – it is up to me," he said.
“The changes at half-time just produced this improvement. They were playing better together and there was more support around Messi. Once Messi received the ball there was better follow-up and better support.
“I think that, whatever happens in this World Cup, he is among the best players in the history of football.”
Messi himself acknowledged that the tactical switch of formation at half time had given him and Sergio Aguero much more freedom.
He said: “As strikers we prefer that system as it gives us more attacking opportunities and if we don’t use that system we suffer a bit. I was often on my own and so was Kun [Agüero] and it was very difficult, so there are things to be improved on.”
Argentina play Iran in their next game.
Join our new commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies