LIONEL MESSI reduced Argentina boss Lionel Scaloni to TEARS after helping thrash Croatia 3-0.
Messi sent his nation to the World Cup final with a goal and assist in the semis.
ReutersArgentina’s Lionel Messi and coach Lionel Scaloni celebrate[/caption]
And he led the celebrations before embracing with his manager Scaloni, who shed a tear with his skipper.
Messi opened the scoring from the spot and in doing so became Argentina’s all-time leading World Cup scorer with 11.
He has managed five already this campaign and talked up his form ahead of Sunday’s final.
Messi, 35, said: “I am enjoying this a lot.
“I am feeling really good, I feel strong enough to face every match. The previous match was a big sacrifice.
“Today we were tired, but we pulled out strength to earn the victory.
“We played very well, we preferred to play this way because we knew they would not have the ball.
“We knew we would have to run. We prepared in a very good way. I feel very happy in this World Cup. I am able to help the squad.”
Messi was on the losing side in the 2014 World Cup as Mario Gotze led Germany to victory.
But he gets a second crack at glory and awaits tomorrow’s second last four match between France and Morocco.
France beat England 2-1 while Morocco stunned Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal to become the first African World Cup semi-finalists.
EPALionel Messi and Lionel Scaloni pictured embracing[/caption]