Lionel Messi produced a spectacular hat-trick when it mattered most to fire Argentina to the World Cup with a 3-1 win in Ecuador.

Argentina knew they needed to win to qualify, but fell behind early on.

Then up stepped Messi, producing three goals of the highest quality to seal his country’s place at the 2018 tournament.

 

 

 

 

It was a sensational performance, which evoked memories of Cristiano Ronaldo’s own heroics back in 2013.

Ronaldo produced an incredible individual display on that occasion in a World Cup play-off with Sweden.

His header in the first leg had given Portugal the advantage going into the home match, and Ronaldo opened the scoring in that game too, netting in the 50th minute.

But an inspired Zlatan Ibrahimovic brace forced Ronaldo to step up again.

He duly did, bagging two goals in three minutes late on to complete his hat-trick and secure a spot at the World Cup in Rio.

 

 

 

 

Both were brilliant efforts that inspired their nations.

But which do you think was better?

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