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Argentina's World Cup woes

Five Aside
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Argentina, Peru eye World Cup qualification

Five Aside
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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Lionel Messi and wife Antonella Roccuzzo expecting their third child

The life of Lionel Messi continues to improve.

After a legendary performance that carried Argentina into the World Cup finals on Tuesday, the Barcelona superstar and his wife have announced they are expecting their third child.

Antonella Roccuzzo shared the wonderful news on Sunday with an Instagram picture of herself and the five-time Ballon d'Or winner with their children, Mateo and Thiago.

Familia de 5❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ #blessed

A post shared by AntoRoccuzzo88 (@antoroccuzzo88) on

All four have a hand on her T-shirt, over her belly.

The post is tagged, "Familia de 5 #blessed," with a...

 By Chris Wright

Lionel Messi has name emblazoned across new custom boots

On the back of dragging Argentina to a World Cup, the one and only Lionel Messi has been furnished with a brand new pair of custom football boots with which to continue weaving his magic.

Adidas recently rolled out their new "Pyro Storm" boot pack, which sees the brand's signature boot lines redressed with a dazzling orange colourway to be sported by mere mortals such as Luis Suarez and Mesut Ozil in the coming weeks.

However, Messi is a class apart and as such, the Barcelona star has been bestowed...

 By Chris Wright

Pochettino fell asleep as Lionel Messi dragged Argentina into World Cup

After Ecuador scored in the first minute, Lionel Messi took over and scored three goals to punch Argentina's World Cup ticket.
The FC crew debate how much a World Cup should factor into Lionel Messi's standing among the greatest players of all time.
Max Bretos and Herculez Gomez evaluate Lionel Messi's impact on Argentina's qualification for the World Cup.
Jorge Sampaoli says he gets emotional coaching Lionel Messi, whom he calls the best player in history.
U2 front man Bono saluted Lionel Messi following his match winning performance against Ecuador.

While most of those watching the heroic exploits of Lionel Messi were transfixed, at least one member of the audience for Argentina's World Cup-salvaging win over Ecuador struggled to maintain interest.

That man was Tottenham manager (and former Albiceleste international) Mauricio Pochettino, who has admitted that he "fell asleep" before Messi scored a match-winning hat trick to haul his country from the brink of elimination and into the hat for Russia 2018.

Still, the prospect of Argentina's do-or-die...

 By Sam Kelly

'Messi is Messiah' and other reactions from Argentina qualifying for Russia

The FC crew debate how much a World Cup should factor into Lionel Messi's standing among the greatest players of all time.
U2 front man Bono saluted Lionel Messi following his match winning performance against Ecuador.

"Messi is Argentine," screamed the front page of daily sports paper Ole on Wednesday, echoing perhaps the three most immediately relevant words of Jorge Sampaoli's news conference from the night before. Lionel Messi dominated the postmatch reaction almost as much as he dominated Argentina's 3-1 win away to Ecuador.

Even away from Ole -- the country's only daily dedicated solely to sport -- the big newspapers lent their covers over to the nation's hero. "The genius that is Messi has put us into...

 By Tim Vickery

How to fix Argentina: Improve youth set-up, support Messi, sort the defence

The FC crew debate how much a World Cup should factor into Lionel Messi's standing among the greatest players of all time.
Max Bretos and Herculez Gomez evaluate Lionel Messi's impact on Argentina's qualification for the World Cup.
Jorge Sampaoli says he gets emotional coaching Lionel Messi, whom he calls the best player in history.
After Ecuador scored in the first minute, Lionel Messi took over and scored three goals to punch Argentina's World Cup ticket.

After such a tense and traumatic qualification campaign, Argentina are definitely entitled to celebrate the 3-1 win away to Ecuador that cements their place in next year's World Cup. But the champagne might have an uneasy aftertaste. How did they get themselves in such trouble in the first place? And their main cause for celebration is the fact that they can count on Lionel Messi; imagine if he had gone through with his decision to retire from international football after the heartbreak of losing...

 By Chris Wright

Argentina saviour Lionel Messi leads celebrations after World Cup relief

Just when they needed him most, Lionel Messi produced a monumental performance on Tuesday evening to drag Argentina from the brink and into the 2018 World Cup.

After beginning the day in sixth place in the South American qualifying table, Messi scored a superb hat trick in a 3-1 win over Ecuador in Argentina's final fixture that saw the Albiceleste seal automatic qualification by finishing third.

No wonder they celebrated loud and long after the final whistle, with their main man leading the chants...