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The Match
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Messi basks in friendly success

Hat-trick hero Lionel Messi has expressed his delight after Argentina defeated Brazil 4-3 in a friendly match clash on Saturday night.

• Argentina 4-3 Brazil

Messi, 24, scored three times, with the third of those strikes a stunning goal, to inspire Argentina to a memorable victory over their South American rivals Brazil.

Although it was a non-competitive fixture, Messi was keen to savour the triumph: "This kind of triumph make us stronger as a team and group and helps us to grow up even more.

"Despite being a friendly, it is always nice to defeat Brazil. I'm also very happy with my three goals, it's not common see seven goals in Argentina versus Brazil."

Argentina fielded a near full-strength side, while Brazil, whose goals came from Romulo, Oscar and Hulk, opted for a younger-looking Olympic-style squad.

"It is very nice to play with huge players like Sergio Aguero and Gonzalo Higuain," Messi said. "This result is good for and for them, for all my team-mates."

Messi also revealed he had swapped shirts with Brazil star Neymar. "He always spoke well of me," he said. "He is a great player and after the match we exchanged shirts."

Argentina boss Alejandro Sabella was pleased by the efforts of his side but understandably by Messi in particular. "Fortunately, Messi is Argentinian and we can enjoy him," he said.

"Messi is an extraordinary player and he has been for a long time. In the national team his recent performances have been good for us and today's game was great.

"We played against a team who have a great attacking power. It was a very exciting duel for the crowd."

Manchester City star Aguero was equally blown away by his strike partner's performance. The forward said: "He does not surprise me anymore. He is the world's best player, no question about it.

"He won three (FIFA) Ballon d'Or and he is competing for another one. He will be the best player in the world until he retires."

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