As Diego Maradona was honoured before Argentina’s 1-1 qualifying draw with Chile because Lionel Messi and Argentina players honoured Maradona.
Argentina honoured Diego Maradona with a statue prior to kick-off on Thursday.
While talking about the tied match, Argentina and Barcelona captain Messi also pondered on the tribute.
Lionel Messi said Argentina wanted to win a “really memorable match” against Chile in the World Cup qualification.
It was the Argentina national team’s first encounter after the death of Maradona.
In the match, Messi’s 24th-minute penalty saw an equalizer by Alexis Sanchez scoring a goal for Chile just 12 minutes later.
And the six-time Ballon d’Or winner pondered on the occasion in a post-match interview.
“It was a very special match because it was the first without Diego,” Messi said, according to Buenos Aires Times.
“We know what the national team meant to him, even if he wasn’t in the stadium, he was always there,” he went on.
“For being the first without him and because of everything that is happening in the country and in the world. It is also a pity that there was no public.”
Lionel Messi and Argentina Honoured Maradona
Messi then added about the tribute to Maradona: “We wanted to give Diego the victory and represent the national team as he always did, leaving everything behind, but we have to continue.”