Xtra Time Web Desk: Alexis Mac Allister turned messiah for Argentina fans when he scored the opener against Poland in FIFA World Cup Group C fixture at Stadium 974 on Wednesday night. The stockily built footballer scored his first international goal for Albiceleste, with a perfect deflection after receiving a cross from Nahuel Molina that beat the outstretched hands of Polish goalkeeper Szczesny.

Mac Allister, who has an Irish decent was not welcomed in the Argentina national team two years back. He was ridiculed by teammates as they called him ‘Colo’ meaning ginger because of his Irish roots and colour of his hair. It was Messi who ensured he (Mac Allister) was not called ‘Colo’.

“I remember everyone called me Colo, which is ‘ginger’ in Argentina. I don’t like it much and Messi told the teammates,’ He doesn’t like to be called Colo, so don’t call him that!’,” he told The Athletic.

Messi, who missed a penalty was strangely named as the Man of the Match (according to FIFA website). But the Argentine superstar felt Mac Allister deserved it more than him. The Brighton & Hove Albion midfielder chose to repay his faith showed upon him by Messi on Wednesday night and that too on a stage like the World Cup.

The 23-year-old Mac Allister has a rich football tradition in family. His father Carlos Mac Allister played with Diego Maradona in the national side and also in Boca Juniors. On Wednesday, senior Mac Allister was in the stands of Stadium 974 watching his son, Alexis make Argentina proud by reaching the knock-out stages of FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar.

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