Lionel Messi has voiced his delight with the support the Argentina fans showed him in their 3-0 World Cup qualification win over Uruguay.
The Barcelona star has generally struggled to replicate his club form for the national team, resulting in a rather critical attitude from Argentina’s fans.
However, the 25-year-old netted twice against the 2011 Copa America winners to help his side to three points and said he was thoroughly enjoying playing for the national side.
“I was always happy playing for Argentina. Now that we are winning, things are easier and it’s easier to enjoy,” Messi told reporters.
“I’m happy that the Argentina fans are treating me with a lot of love. It happened at River Plate, then in Cordoba, today here in Mendoza. I’m happy that Argentina fans are treating me like Barcelona fans treat me.”
The prolific attacker spoke about the importance of the victory over Uruguay and said they were determined to take another step toward qualification in the upcoming match against Chile.
“This win is very important and if we win in Chile, we would take a huge step towards our goal of making it to the World Cup,” Messi said.
“Chile will be very difficult because they have a great team and they need to win. It’s going to be complicated.”
Meanwhile, Manchester City attacker Sergio Aguero was equally pleased with the victory, but said Argentina still had work to do.
“I feel we are getting closer to the World Cup. The fans have huge expectations towards 2014. We are still a long way from the World Cup and we will have time to think about that,” he said.
“We couldn’t score in the first half but then in the second we kept playing at a good level and it was a matter of time before we scored.
“I’m fine, I’m not injured. I got kicked on the leg but I’m fine.”