“I Saw Him Taking Down Messi” – $146,000,000 Premier League Star’s Exploits Against Lionel Messi Leaves Argentinean Legend in Sheer Disbelief

Published 09/09/2023, 10:01 AM EDT

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In the clash between Argentina and Ecuador, one man’s performance stood out not for his attacking prowess, but for his remarkable defensive resilience against the iconic Lionel Messi. Although Messi stole the show with a sublime free-kick, the spotlight shone brightly on Chelsea’s latest $146 million signing, Moises Caicedo.

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The defensive midfielder emerged as the unsung hero of the match. In the aftermath of this fierce battle, Carlos Tevez couldn’t help but express his astonishment at Caicedo’s exploits on the pitch.

Caicedo’s remarkable performance against Lionel Messi and Argentina earned praise from Carlos Tevez

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Argentina took off with a winning start to the World Cup Qualifying campaign, as they handed a 1-0 defeat to Ecuador in a tight and tense match. Ecuador managed to hold Argentina until the 78th-minute mark, but it was Lionel Messi who stood up to the challenge and scored a stunning free kick to break the deadlock.

It was, however, Moises Caicedo, who captured the imagination of fans and pundits alike. Caicedo, 21, who moved to Chelsea from Brighton, where he made a name for himself under Graham Potter, did a superb job of keeping La Pulga quiet for much of the game. He won several important tackles and interceptions and made it very difficult for Messi to get into his stride.

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This impressed former Argentina international Carlos Tevez, who said that Caicedo was the most notable player for him in the match. As reported by Mediaclock, Tevez applauded Caicedo by saying, “It was a tough match but at the end of the 90 minutes a good game for Argentina but one player I can’t turn blind eyes to is Caicedo.”

via Imago

“I saw him taking down Messi many times,” Tevez said. “He made him uncomfortable and didn’t give him any space to operate. He understood the task that he was going up against one of the best players in the world, and he did a good job,” he added.

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Caicedo’s performance against Argentina and Lionel Messi was a major breakthrough for him. The young star has now shown that he can compete at the highest level, and the defensive midfielder will be looking to build on this performance in the future, especially with Chelsea struggling to find form in the EPL.

The Ecuador International was on the transfer list of top clubs like Liverpool, who were desperately vying for his signature, before being swooped by the Londoners. Meanwhile, Lionel Messi continued his dominance on the pitch as La Albiceleste started their WC Qualifying campaign with a victory that saw Messi equal the records of David Beckham and Luis Suarez.

Messi continues his excellent record-breaking form as he equals David Beckham and Luis Suarez

Argentina dominated possession but were frustrated in attack, largely due to Caicedo, in front of a large crowd in Buenos Aires. They struggled to make the breakthrough, but Messi came to their rescue, scoring a scrumptious free-kick to continue his excellent form for Inter Miami, after he recently led the side to a Leagues Cup.

via Imago

With the free kick goal, Messi equaled the record for direct career free kicks with David Beckham, as both the greats stand at 65 free kick goals now. Apart from this record, Messi now also sits level with his former Barcelona teammate Luis Suarez as the all-time top scorer in South American qualifying competition with 29 goals under their belt.

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After the match, Lionel Messi said, “Everyone always wants to beat Argentina, and even more so now that we are the world champions.” Messi also insisted that Argentina needs to improve further by stating, “We can’t relax, we have to improve on what we’ve been doing. The objective is to qualify for the World Cup again. We really enjoyed what we did but we have to look ahead.”

All eyes will be on Lionel Messi once again, as Argentina prepares for its next match against Bolivia on September 12, Tuesday.

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Written by:

Sahil Sharma

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Sahil Sharma is a soccer writer at EssentiallySports. He's been a fan since childhood, but his love for the sport truly took off when Real Madrid won their record 10th UEFA Champions League title in 2014. That famous La Decima triumph turned him into a hardcore Madridista.
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Edited by:

Jayant Chhabra

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