The defending World Cup champions wrapped up their celebration tour on home soil with a 7-0 win over Curacao featuring a first-half hat-trick by Lionel Messi. It’s a win that’s expected to lift Argentina to the No. 1 FIFA world ranking.
Exactly 100 days since hoisting the World Cup trophy, the Argentina captain led his team’s first-half explosion with three of his team’s five goals before halftime. Messi’s first goal was the 100th in his Argentina career, one of only three men’s players in history to reach that mark.
The second half saw the usual flood of substitutions on both sides, but the home side still added two more goals through an Angel Di Maria penalty and a goal by the penalty shootout hero from the World Cup final, Gonzalo Montiel.
This was the last action for Argentina until a reported June tour of Asia (June 14-20), where they will play two friendlies. That will be followed by the opening of 2026 World Cup qualifying in September at home against Ecuador and then away at Bolivia.
The hosts seemed content to see out the match at a canter in the second half, but Argentina did add to the scoreline in the 78th minute with an Angel Di Maria penalty and a close-range strike from Gonzalo Montiel.
The game was followed by tributes from the home crowd for Lionel Scaloni and his 2022 World Cup winners, who will regroup in June for another international break with an eye on the start of CONMEBOL qualifying for the 2026 World Cup in September.
Meanwhile, Lautaro Blanco, Facundo Buonanotte, Valentin Carboni and Maximo Perrone are all aiming for their first senior appearances with Argentina.
Argentina possible XI: Rulli; Montiel, Pezzella, Li. Martinez, Acuna; Almada, Paredes, Palacios; Messi, La. Martinez, Dybala
Lo Celso shines for Argentina
That Argentina won the World Cup to end their drought was a major feat in 2022. To have done it without Giovani Lo Celso was even more impressive. That’s how pivotal the midfielder had been for Argentina in the lead-up to the World Cup. And everything that Argentina missed from Lo Celso was on display against Curacao: exquisite passing, quality touches, vision, and an ability to make Messi more dangerous than he already is. The statistics from the match tell the story:
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