Former Brazil midfielder Zico was astounded at the goal that lit up the Maracanã as the FIFA World Cup™ returned to the famous old stadium after 64 years.
Lionel Messi's brilliant run and strike to secure a 2-1 win over Bosnia and Herzegovina on Sunday was only the Argentina star's second-ever World Cup goal but it fitted a tournament that has already seen much to admire.
Zico, one of the great No10s in football's history, still rates Pele as the best to wear the jersey number ahead of Messi or Diego Maradona but said at a news conference in Rio de Janeiro: "It was fantastic - the Maracanã deserved a goal like he scored."
Messi himself played down the quality of his goal and insisted Argentina needed to improve. What seems certain is that coach Alejandro Sabella will abandon the 5-3-2 formation he used in an unimpressive first half against Bosnia and Herzegovina and return to the 4-3-3 line-up he preferred in qualifying and which gives much more support to Messi.
Sabella said: "Messi is the best player in the world, it's not as though he needs a lot of support but when he receives a boost from his team-mates there is no doubt that it empowers him even more to be the best player in the world. I think that whatever happens in this World Cup he is among the best players in the history of football."
Messi himself admitted the changes from five in defence to a 4-3-3 formation made it much easier for him and fellow striker Sergio Aguero. He said: "As strikers we prefer that system as it gives us more attacking opportunities and if we don't use that system we suffer a bit. We as strikers favour that line-up. In the first half I was often on my own and so was Kun [Aguero] and it was very difficult, so there are things to be improved on."