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FIFA World Cup: Never easy with the nerves, anxiety, says Lionel Messi

Rio de Janeiro: Lionel Messi hailed Argentina's winning start to the World Cup after scoring a classic goal to see off Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Lionel Messi celebrates his goal against Bosnia-Herzegovina at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro yesterday. Pic/AFP
Lionel Messi celebrates his goal against Bosnia-Herzegovina at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro yesterday. Pic/AFP 

Messi's trademark run and strike will go down as one of the great World Cup goals, but the Argentina captain admitted he was relieved the team had secured a 2-1 win in the Maracana after a disappointing first half.

Messi said: "It's important that we started off on the right foot with the three points, but we do have things we must improve.

"It's not easy with all the anxiety and the nerves, but the important thing is the result. We had a great second half. We had the ball much more, created several opportunities and that's what we have to continue to do."

Argentina coach Alejandro Sabella only awarded his team a mark of 6 out 10 and said his half-time changes to provide more support to Messi were crucial. Sabella said: "On balance I'd give it a 6. We need to improve and part of that is in my hands.

But Once Messi received the ball there was better support. I think that, whatever happens in this World Cup, he is among the best players in the history of football."

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