On this day in 2014, Lionel Messi and Argentina light up the Maracana at World Cup


On this day in 2014, Lionel Messi scored for Argentina in their 2-1 win vs. Bosnia-Herzegovina at the World Cup.

Argentina were looking to put behind them their humiliating exit four years earlier when they lost 4-0 to Germany in the quarter finals. Lionel Messi didn’t manage a single goal on African soil and the team was poorly managed in comparison to Alejandro Sabella’s squad in Brazil.

In Argentina’s opening group game, it was against Bosnia-Heezegovina and the two time South American champions had a star studded attack. Lionel Messi, Sergio Aguero, Gonzalo Higuain and Angel Di Maria formed the fantastic four with the likes of Ezequiel Lavezzi, Maxi Rodriguez and Rodrigo Palacio as choices off the bench.

Alejandro Sabella went with a five man back line to start the match, one which surprised many Argentina fans. Hugo Campagnaro started the match to complete the back five. Here was the starting eleven:

Marcos Rojo; Federico Fernandez, Hugo Campagnaro, Ezequiel Garay, Pablo Zabaleta; Angel Di Maria, Javier Mascherano, Maxi Rodriguez; Sergio Aguero, Lionel Messi

It would take just three minutes for Alejandro Sabella’s team to take the lead. Sergio Aguero would get fouled and Lionel Messi would take the free kick. The ball would land onto Kolasinac and it would go into the net as an own goal. Argentina would go into half time with a 1-0 lead.

Gonzalo Higuain would come on for Maxi Rodriguez and Fernando Gago for Hugo Campagnaro at half time.

Lionel Messi would finally score his first World Cup goal in nearly 8 years to the day. Messi would play a one-two with Gonzalo Higuain and the ball would get back to the Argentina captain. Two Bosnia-Herzegovina players would tumble on top of each other, Messi’s left footed shot would hit the post and go in. His bad luck from four years earlier had been erased.

The Maracana exploded. Lionel Messi had arrived. Argentina had arrived. The fans became more into the match, Angel Di Maria was doing his flicks and tricks and Argentina played with more confidence.

Lucas Biglia would come on for Sergio Aguero.

Romero would let one goal near the end of the match but Argentina were able to maintain their advantage and get the 2-1 win.


  1. A good Defencieve approach takes a team further in tournaments like the WC. 2014 was a perfect example of that Sabella was very careful with his defence even against smaller football nations and it almost gave us the WC. Also we were lucky to be on the easier side of the bracket till the Semifinals. That’s something which Argentina NT r not accustomed of. Usually we r always in the group of death. 2014 was a great chance to finally lift it. I don’t know when we may atleast reach a final of the WC. It was special.

    Compared to the 2014 I don’t think our defence is in better shape now. Let’s see what Scaloni will do to rejuvenate the defence,he already made the Offence and Midfield fresh. He has Ayala and Samuel two rocks in defence to help him out you can’t ask better than that.

  2. During 2014 world cup Midfield of Enzo Perez Mascherano and Biglia,they are not creative but one dimensional player only good in defensive movement.They all played good in final but not excellent.Only Zabalata and Rojo were good for going forward.Our midfield player never created any clear chance.All chances were mistake of german players or counter attacking play.One of Biglia or Enzo should have played but not both.One team always needs one attacking minded player in midfield.When we already have Higuain who always comes for midfield rescue we did not need to play 3 defensive minded players in midfield.Today Argentina has plenty of creative players like Lo celso,Paredes,Mac Allister Palacios.There are also defensive minded player too like De paul Ocampus, Guido Rodriguez.That is why i am more hopeful of this Argentina team than 2014 team.Our attack is as usual always shining but they also need good base to show their talent on the pitch.

    • I agree but the 2014 team had absolutely the best defence of 2014 WC with level headed players like Zabaleta, Garay, Demicheles and even Rojo was kinda decent during the WC and NT even had Sergio Romero(GK) who was in his best form ever . In 2022 WC qualifiers hopefully Scaloni gives chances to Musso as 1st choice GK and hopefully also calls Benitez in later stages of qualifiers atleast as a substitute and in case of defence Juan Foyth,Cristian Romero,Pezella,Nehuen Perez, Quarta Tagliafico,Gonzalo Montiel,Marcos Senesi,Tagliafico, Jonathan Silva and Lisandro Martinez, Facundo Medina, Balerdi are hopefully tried by Scaloni in order to replecate the sucess of 2014 WC instead of players like Otamendi(Not good in form and his age is an issue), Waltermann etc. who are not good in long term for NT

      • it will remain a mystery on why Garay didnt play after 2016. Imagine the stability we would have got in our defense in 2018 along with Otamendi. Real bad luck & super awful AFA management – the mess with coach changes. Lanzini & Romero injuries

  3. I was very happy during this WC but I cannot love Sabella’s football style even though 2014 has been the best achievement of the NT since 1990. But maybe that’s the destiny of Argentina, NT need to play defensive and rely on individual performance to achieve something, just like 1990.

    • Even though Sabellas style was not liked by many but it was effective just like Simeone Atletico Madrid . Not every team can play like Peps Barcelona or Total Football of Dutch for that you need specific type of players kinda like Xavi, Iniesta, Veratti, etc. which Argentina NT currently dosent possses such players so it would be better if Scaloni in Future also follows Simeone style (His style and tactics made atletico what it is today and reached Champions league finals twice).

  4. the 2014 lineup looks interesting.
    Can we recreate that lineup with dybala replacing maxi and ocampos replacing di maria.
    & other defencive changes.

    • Same to me before 2014 I didn’t watch football only watched big tournament like Euro or World Cup at that time I was Germany fan but messi made me Argentina fan, Germany still my 2nd favorite

  5. Hopefully Argentina NT can reach Final at WC 2022 just like in WC 14 but this time hopefully win it.

    • He just got back into action after a long break and a muscle injury (a week before the game against Betis) and played 2 games in the space of 5 days so give the kid a break.
      He’s been a standout for Sevilla and in la liga as a whole.

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