Argentina's Lionel Messi celebrates scoring his side's second goal against Peru during a qualifying soccer match for the FIFA World Cup 2026 at the National stadium in Lima, Peru,Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2023.

Lionel Messi sent the same opponent for a hot dog TWICE for his own amusement

You never know what’s going on inside somebody else’s head, although it doesn’t take Sigmund Freund to guess the thought process of a defender in the hours before facing Lionel Messi.

Some would sleep like a baby after a Calpol chaser, figuring that the looming professional embarrassment has happened to so many defenders over the course of Messi’s career that at least they’ll be in good company.

Others will toss and turn. Lie awake with the brain whirring, plucking out sphincter-tightening moments from their youth as the brain is liable to do for all of us.

Mentally preparing themselves for a duel like no other, praying that all of their training and experience doesn’t fail them in the heat of battle.

Whatever their mysterious inner workings, it’s all futile; Messi simply puts you on a leash and leads you around your national stadium like a compliant Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. B*gger.

This was the fate that befell one Peruvian during their World Cup qualifying defeat to Argentina, as Messi held off his desperate clamouring for professional dignity before sending his opponent for a hot dog outside the stadium.

But that wasn’t the end of the ordeal. Oh no.

Clambouring from the deck like a nobleman on the Titanic, and blessed with the support of a team-mate, our doomed Peruvian manfully entered the ring once more with the odds slightly in his favour.

In reality, Messi simply skipped over his outstretched leg and left a trail of weeping defenders in his wake as he steamed upfield.

Forget his two goals, two strikes that sealed victory for his country. This was Messi’s crowning achievement on a sweltering evening in Paddington Bear’s homeland.

“The most important thing is that Messi is healthy,” Lionel Scaloni said after the match. “He manages the minutes alone.

“The team has understood Messi for a while, it benefits him and he feels comfortable. I hope he plays as much as he can because everyone is happy seeing him on the field.”

With his two goals against against Peru, Messi reached an impressive career total of 106 goals in 176 appearances for Argentina. He also broke another impressive record, becoming the all-time top-scorer in CONMEBOL qualifiers with 31 goals in 63 matches.

Not bad for a player, around the start of the 2010s, who struggled to win over sections of the Argentinian public that believed Messi didn’t try for the national team, was effectively Europeanised and would never be fit to lace the boots of Diego Maradona.

Argentina’s 2-0 win in Lima meant they retained their spot at the summit of the CONMEBOL standings with 12 points from four games.

Considering the expanded format that means six teams qualify automatically from South America, it’s safe to say that the defending champions already have one foot in America in three years’ time.

Whether Messi will be there has been a hotly debated subject. Scaloni has left the door open, but Messi has repeatedly failed to provide assurances either way and is thought to be solely focused on next year’s Copa America.

Fans across the globe will be praying Messi makes it to the States in June 2026. Hollow-eyed defenders who haven’t completed a full sleep cycle since 2004 will be praying otherwise.

By Michael Lee

READ NEXT: Lionel Messi was inches away from the one thing he HASN’T achieved in football

TRY A QUIZ: Can you name Argentina’s Xl from Lionel Messi’s debut in 2005?