Nigeria coach Stephen Keshi labelled Lionel Messi as "not from this planet" after he led Argentina to a 3-2 FIFA World Cup Group F win.
Messi moved alongside Neymar at the top of the scoring charts for the tournament with a double at Estadio Beira-Rio on Wednesday, taking his tally to four in three games.
It was ultimately Marcos Rojo who ensured Argentina progressed with a maximum haul of nine points, his kneed finish representing a fine riposte to Ahmed Musa cancelling out a Messi strike for the second time in the game.
Yet it was Messi who stole the show once again and Keshi could not hide his admiration for the Barcelona forward.
The head coach said: "He is not from this planet. Messi is from Jupiter. He is different. He is one hell of a player. You can't take it away from him."
Waxing lyrical over Messi was perhaps a little easier for Keshi given he had just led Nigeria to the last 16 despite the loss.
His side headed into the game needing a draw to guarantee second place in Group F behind their opponents, yet Bosnia-Herzegovina's 3-1 triumph over Iran meant the African champions were able to celebrate progressing.
Keshi was delighted to see his side continue their World Cup adventure, but saw room for improvement in their first defeat of the tournament.
“I am satisfied especially with what we showed in the second half,
“But we showed them too much respect in first half, if had played like we did in the second half, it would have been a different story.
“We need to improve going forward. But we are coming back to our shape. There is progression , which is good.”comments