It took Lionel Messi just 10 minutes to score his opening goal of the 2022 World Cup.
The legendary Argentine forward converted from 12 yards after Argentina were awarded an early penalty.
Saudi goalkeeper Mohammed Al-Owais did his best to psych out Messi, but the legendary Argentine forward responded with an ice cold penalty.
What did Saudi Arabia’s goalkeeper do?
It went unnoticed by many but as Messi ran up to strike the ball, Al-Owais pointed in the direction that he thought the superstar would shoot.
Messi duly obliged with one of the coolest penalties we’re likely to see all tournament.
Al-Owais even dived to his left, such is the disguise that Messi put on the shot.
Keeper told Messi where to go 😂 pic.twitter.com/gCUpwDguSD
— My Greatest 11 (@MyGreatest11) November 22, 2022
Messi listened to the Saudi Arabian goalkeeper🤷♂️ pic.twitter.com/1lHOtgIVQH
— Zubin Daver (@zubinofficial) November 22, 2022
Video: Messi’s first goal of the Qatar World Cup
Watch Messi’s ice cold penalty here:
LIONEL MESSI SCORES THE GOAL FROM THE PENALTY pic.twitter.com/2hrVuIP3p9
— Ziad is NOT in pain (@Ziad_EJ) November 22, 2022
The king is back! Messi scores for Argentina. Like this tweet to appreciate the GOAT.⚽️🇦🇷 pic.twitter.com/DMbEHEKWBt
What else did Messi do in the first half vs Saudi Arabia?
Messi, with his first touch of the tournament, forced a save from Al-Owais inside the opening two minutes.
He also had a second goal disallowed for offside, while his teammate Lautaro Martinez had two goals disallowed.
LUSAIL CITY, QATAR – NOVEMBER 22: The LED board shows a decision to rule out a goal by Lautaro Martinez of Argentina due to an offside during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Group C match between Argentina and Saudi Arabia at Lusail Stadium on November 22, 2022 in Lusail City, Qatar. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)
Is this Messi’s last World Cup?
Messi, playing in his fifth World Cup finals, conceded in the build-up to Argentina’s opening match that Qatar is likely to be his final appearance in world football’s showpiece tournament.
The seven-time Ballon d’Or winner will be 39 by the time the 2026 World Cup comes around.
LUSAIL CITY, QATAR – NOVEMBER 22: Lionel Messi of Argentina celebrates a goal which was later disallowed by VAR during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Group C match between Argentina and Saudi Arabia at Lusail Stadium on November 22, 2022 in Lusail City, Qatar. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
“This is probably my last World Cup, my last chance to achieve this great dream that I have,” Messi told reporters, per BBC Sport.
“I feel very good physically, I think I’m in a great moment, both personally and physically and I don’t have any problems.
“I heard that they said I trained differently. It was because I had a knock but there is nothing strange [happening]. It was just a precaution.”