Inspried Isco led LA Roja’s team to a 6-1 victory against an Argentina side without Lionel Messi, in their friendly match game yesterday.
Spain, unbeaten since the summer of 2016, impressed in a 1-1 draw away to Germany on Friday, while Argentina had beaten Italy in Manchester despite an injury to their talisman.
Messi had looked set to return in this match after he was passed fit by coach Jorge Sampaoli in Monday’s pre-match press conference.
The Barca forward later felt discomfort that evening and decided earlier on Tuesday that it would not be wise to play.
Argentina Need A Messi Miracle Before The WOrld Cup Begins
Therefore, that will have been a blow to Sampaoli, who had hoped to have his finest footballer available for these two prestige friendlies.
Sadly, He only has a game away to Israel in June in which to try out his forward in a formation he hopes will make him as comfortable as he is at Barcelona.
However, Tuesday night evidence shows that will be the least of his worries.
Because while Germany against Spain looked like a match between two genuine World Cup contenders, this fixture appeared anything but that.
Inspired Isco Turments Argentina With His Hat-Trick
And yet Argentina was not bad in the first half. Gonzalo Higuain, back after a lengthy exile, missed from close range in the game’s first clear chance, hardly helping his reputation as a player who fluffs his lines when it matters most.
In truth, this friendly fixture did not matter that much, although it definitely did to Spain. Isco, something of a fading force for Real Madrid this season after his heroics last term, was at his breathtaking best, following up an impressive display against Germany by hitting a hat-trick here.
In doing so, he became the first Real Madrid player to score an international hat-trick for Spain since April 2003, when Fernando Morientes netted three versus Ecuador. And this against Argentina.
The 25-year-old also ended the night with an assist and left the pitch to a standing ovation. Not bad considering the match was played at the home of his club’s city rivals, Atletico.
Earlier, Atletico’s own Diego Costa had given Spain the lead after Higuain’s miss and Isco had scored the second after he was set up by the magnificent Marco Asensio.
Some of Spain’s one-touch play and passing was wonderful. However, when Nicolas Otamendi headed home from a corner and Argentina went in only 2-1 down, it looked like the second half would be competitive.