WC 2014: Can Messi do a Maradona of 1986 against Belgium?

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Brasilia, July 5: Can Messi pull off a Maradona-like classic against the Belgians in the quarterfinals to be played at the Estádio Nacional Mané Garrincha here on Saturday? The second goal that the legendary footballer had scored against the Red Devils in the semi-final of the 1986 World Cup is considered one of the classics in the history of the tournament.


Coming back to today's quarterfinal which will be third meeting between the two teams in the World Cup (the two sides have shared honours), both Argentina and Belgium have scored a few goals so far but their scoring patterns have been different.

Belgium have looked a side with more flexibility than the Argentines in this WC

Belgium, however, have looked more flexible in the match against the USA in the Round of 16in which they created several chances but ran into a wall called Tim Howard. Yet, the move to bring in Romelu Lukaku in the extra time was a move that proved very decisive in breaking the tie. The Belgians have been particularly good in the dying moments of their matches and have fooled their opposition by late scoring.

Argentina, on the other hand, have looked over-dependent on Messi, something which hasn't impressed Maradona. The Albicelste scraped through against Iran in the group stage and Switzerland in the Round of 16, thanks to Messi's direct and indirect contributions, but would have to improve their game by quite a few notches if they aim for a semifinal berth.

While Lionel Messi has scored four of his team's seven goals scored so far and also assisted in the scoring of the solitary goal against Switzerland, each of the six goals that Belgium have scored in this World Cup have come from the foot of different players. In fact, six out of the Belgian goals have came from substitutes.

Saturday's affair might also be a low-scoring game with both sides adopting a cautious approach and remain content with a decisive scoring.

At the World Cup finals:

Belgium beat Argentina 1-0 in the 1982 edition while Argentina avenged the defeat in the 1986 semifinal by registering a 2-0 win.

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