The star ‘every giant coveted’ went silly after Messi’s moment of genius

Lionel Messi has spent the most of his nearly two-decade career confounding defenders.

La Pulga appears to have every tool at his disposal to leave opposition numbers in his wake, whether it’s subtle shoulder drops, inch-perfect jinks, or his patented nutmegs.

On Tuesday, he added to his score with a whirling dervish run and assist for Argentina’s third goal in a 3-0 World Cup quarterfinal victory over Croatia.

It was the kind of maneuver Messi has become known for: using his low center of gravity to counter Gvardiol’s massive frame.

The masked center back had no answers for the Little Magician on Tuesday. Julian Alvarez’s second goal, as well as the run that preceded it, demonstrated this.

Lionel Messi assisted Julian Alvarez’s goal.

Alvarez scored again, this time from close range, for his second goal of the game and fourth of the tournament.

The goal, on the other hand, will be remembered for one and only one reason: Messi. Watch as he baits Gvardiol into getting tight with him before wheeling around and making his way down the touchline the other way. It’s almost like watching poetry in action.

Here’s a look at Messi’s spectacular journey from the stands. Take note of how much territory he covered in the blink of an eye, all while dodging the defender’s colossus.

The pairing was fitting, given that Alvarez has reveᴀled that Messi was his childhood idol.

Alvarez made an immediate impact on Tuesday’s game, first sprinting past the Croatian backline to win a penalty, then scoring on his own furious drive down the field.

The 22-year-old, who had only recently replaced Lautaro Martnez in the No. 9 shirt, delivered an outstanding performance.

It now appears to be a wise decision.

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