Argentina survived a grim situation and qualified for the FIFA World Cup 2018 with a 3-1 win over Ecuador, thanks to a hattrick from Lionel Messi.

Fans in Argentina and all around the world were scared of the prospect of a World Cup without Lionel Messi. Needing a win against Ecuador, the game started on a grim note for the visitors, with the home side taking a 1-0 lead in the first minute of the game.

With the World Cup hopes hanging in the balance, it was time for Lionel Messi to step up and be the hero. And the Barcelona man did just that. Not only did he net the equalizer for Argentina, but the global superstar scored a hattrick on the night to catapult his side to third place in the CONMEBOL qualifiers, thus securing a place in the World Cup group stage.

Fans ran out of superlatives for the performance, with Lionel Messi the name on everyone’s lips and social media accounts after the heroic display.

These tweets, though, embodied the importance of Messi in the Argentine national team.