Understanding Lionel Messi’s thought process is a challenge when it comes to his incredible performances on the football field. One particular example is his assist to Nahuel Molina during Argentina’s 2022 World Cup quarterfinal against the Netherlands.
Messi received the ball on the right side of the pitch, in the central region. He then skillfully cut back inside, paused briefly, and unexpectedly executed a no-look stab pass through a couple of defenders. The pass found its way to the inward right channel, where Molina had made a run and was now facing the goalkeeper in a one-on-one situation.
In a recent interview with TV Publica, Messi shared his thoughts on this magnificent moment. Molina, curious, asked him, “Could you actually see me or not?”
“Yes, I witnessed him running and decided it was the right move to pass the ball to him. I believed that the defense was anticipating a different play, so I thought it was appropriate to deliver it to him. Although I didn’t hear him, I saw him,” responds the Argentine captain.
Messi, who recently transferred from Paris Saint Germain to Inter Miami in the MLS, also expressed the emotions he experienced when the final whistle blew two games later, as Argentina secured the title for the first time since 1986.