Lionel Messi played down fears about Argentina's FIFA World Cup™ campaign after they needed a dramatic extra-time winner to see off Switzerland in Sao Paulo.
Angel Di Maria scored in the 118th minute to give Argentina a 1-0 win over the Swiss at the Arena Corinthians. It would have been a different story had Switzerland taken their chances in the first half.
But, despite four narrow wins at the World Cup, Messi is not worried about Argentina's form heading into Saturday's quarter-final clash against Belgium in Brasilia. "It was not an easy match, but we knew it wouldn't be," the Argentina captain told a press conference in the Arena Corinthians after the match.
"We have seen throughout the World Cup that all the matches have been on an equal footing and lots of important teams have gone out. What is important is that we are through to the next stage - that is what we wanted."
I was nervous towards the end because we couldn't score and any mistake could have left us out.
Argentina forward Lionel Messi
Diego Benaglio had an impressive game in goal for Switzerland, denying Di Maria, Rodrigo Palacio and Pablo Zabaleta earlier in the match. Messi feared Argentina could have been heading out until he squared for Di Maria and he curled the ball past Benaglio at the death.
"I was nervous towards the end because we couldn't score and any mistake could have left us out," the Barcelona forward said. "The minutes were passing by and we didn't want the match to go to penalties.
"We were suffering, but we had a special play - I passed to Angel and now we can celebrate."