DOHA: Two of the world’s most celebrated strikers, Lionel Messi of Argentina and Robert Lewandowski of Poland will make it count against each other with tickets to the round of 16 of the World Cup being hunted by both players.
Messi, 35, already scored twice for Argentina, who had gotten off to a ‘terrific’ start to the campaign this time when they suffered the shock defeat in championship history by falling to Saudi Arabia before he was a key character in helping the team overcome Mexico.
The Paris Saint Germain forward is playing in his fifth and final World Cup campaign and this is the last chance he will equal Diego Maradona’s record and lift that prestigious trophy.
“We need to stay calm to be able to face the match against Poland in a different way,” said Messi after the tremendous pressure against Mexico.
Argentina are second in Group C with three points, one behind Poland, they need to win to progress to the last 16 and stay in contention for a third World Cup title.
A draw is also sufficient for Argentina if Mexico and Saudi Arabia end their match in a draw.
Like Messi, 34-year-old Lewandowski is also the top scorer for his country and this is his last World Cup stage.
He was at his peak with Messi’s former club Barcelona and started well in Qatar.
Lewandowski missed a penalty in the opening game with Mexico before netting his first World Cup goal to help Poland beat Saudi Arabia 2-0.
“I think the older I get, the more emotional I realize it might be my last World Cup,” said the Poland captain.