A fan inside the Lusail Stadium had the best seat in the house for Lionel Messi’s magnificent assist against Croatia – and he managed to record the entire thing on camera.

The 35-year-old forward notched a goal and an assist as Argentina progressed to the World Cup final.

Julian Alvarez, who won the first-half penalty before netting a brace, played a blinder against Zlatko Dalic’s side, while the likes of Cristian Romero, Nicolas Otamendi and Nahuel Molina defended superbly throughout.

But it was Messi that grabbed the headlines after leaving Josko Gvardiol – one of the World Cup’s standout players this winter – for dust before setting up Alvarez.

As you can see in the footage above, Messi made the promising defender look bang average with a masterclass in close control.

The Argentine was at his mesmerising best on Tuesday night, although it took him a solid half hour to get into the swing of things.

Croatia goalkeeper Dominik Livakovic, who will no doubt be on the radar of many clubs after an outstanding tournament, didn’t stand a chance.

Alvarez, who has played second fiddle to Erling Haaland at Manchester City this season – then ran from his own half before converting past Livakovic after some questionable defending.

That impressive moment doubled Argentina’s lead and well, Croatia never recovered from that moment onwards.

In the second-half, Messi then proceeded to assist Alvarez, who confirmed Argentina’s place in the World Cup final with a close range finish.

Lionel Scaloni’s side will play either France or Morocco in the final on Sunday.

Image credit: AlamyAfter the full-time whistle, fans and pundits alike praised Messi for his performance, including former Manchester United captain Roy Keane, who said it was a “privilege” to watch him in action.

“They were on their knees, today they ended up very comfortable,” he told ITV. “I feel very privileged to be watching him [Messi].”

Keane then looked at fellow pundits Gary Neville and Ian Wright, saying: “I was better than the two lads, [but] what we’re seeing here live, and he does it against really good players. What we’re seeing tonight, we talk about geniuses…”

He added: “He [Messi] picks and chooses, he’s so smart. He’ll read a situation, that’s where he’s so smart.”

Thoughts on that wonderful Messi assist for Argentina’s third?

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