'It's just a totally bizarre experience...'- Australian midfielder recalls the 'Messi phenomenon' in Argentina vs Australia game at 2022 FIFA WC

Australia midfielder talks about the experience of facing Lionel Messi at Qatar in the World Cup in Argentina vs Australia clash.

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Lionel Messi

Lionel Messi (Source: Twitter)

The Argentina football team led by Lionel Messi conquered the pinnacle in Qatar when they won the FIFA World Cup 202. La Albiceleste beat France 4-2 on penalties after the scores were tied 3-3 at extra time. Argentina started the 2022 FIFA World Cup on the wrong foot in a 2-1 shock defeat to Saudi Arabia. Lionel Messi narrowly missed out on a World Cup in 2014 when Germany beat Argentina.


Australian midfielder Jackson Irvine had stars in his eyes when he faced head-on with Messi in the 2022 World Cup when Argentina went up against Australia, Argentina won the game 2-1 in Qatar. Irvine went ga-ga over Messi. He was star-struck as he was getting a chance to rub shoulders with one of the all-time greats in the beautiful game. Argentina had a 2-0 lead in the game courtesy of goals from Julian Alvarez and Messi. Australia got on the scoresheet because of an own goal from Enzo Fernandez.

Being in the vicinity is surreal - Jamie Cummins on seeing Lionel Messi in the flesh at Qatar

“It’s the ‘Messi experience’ - there are not many people that walk into any room and it's just theirs. I remember when he walked into the tunnel, you've got the kids on either side and the media, the referee and everyone's eyes are on him. It's just a totally bizarre experience. It's like having an otherworldly figure in the room.” Irvine told


Jamie Cummins who played as a substitute in that game as said how he was in awe of Messi. He said it was something else when he was playing close to Messi on the field where he was in the thick of the action. “Being in the vicinity is surreal, it is almost like he's an alien. He’s just a top player, so good, you give him a split second and he does something crazy.” Cummins said that this is something he will cherish forever.

Though a lot of reports are pointing towards Messi's straight return to Barcelona, it is not easy as it seems because they will need to pay a huge amount of wage to Messi. The club also has to look into the salary demands of Jordi Alba as well. Messi's contract at PSG is about to expire very soon.