Messi happy to start with win
Lionel Messi is hoping Argentina's qualifying woes are firmly in the past after a winning start to the World Cup.
Last Updated: 13/06/10 10:47pm
Lionel Messi is hoping Argentina's qualifying woes are firmly in the past after making a winning start to the World Cup finals.
Argentina struggled to reach South Africa, but produced an impressive performance to beat Nigeria 1-0 in their opening fixture in Group B on Saturday.
Messi caught the eye with a sparkling display as Diego Maradona's side wasted numerous chances to clinch a clear-cut success.
The Barcelona star was delighted to play a key role in the victory and is now looking forward to the rest of the tournament.
"I'm happy because things went well for me and the national team won," said Messi.
"I had very bad moments in the team during the qualifiers, when things didn't work out for me. Getting up today was very nice and I enjoyed a relaxed day.
"It's important to get off to a winning start while playing good football."
Though the road to qualifying for the finals was somewhat turbulent, Messi believes the morale in the squad has improved since the players arrived in South Africa.
"[In South Africa] everything changed, the mentality of the squad and my mentality," he added.
"The time we've spent here has been good, it helped us a lot and we took advantage of it."
Gabriel Heinze headed the only goal against Nigeria inside the opening 10 minutes and the defender was happy to play his part in securing three points.
"I am very happy to have got the goal which cemented the win," said the Marseille defender.
"I was in the right place at the right time. I saw the cross come over and I launched myself right at it."