— U.S. Soccer (@ussoccer)June 25, 2014
First thing’s first: make sure you all print out the sick note courtesy of USA manager Jurgen Klinsmann so that you can watch the big game on Thursday. Do it!
— Jürgen Klinsmann (@J_Klinsmann)June 25, 2014
Got it? Okay, cool. Now let’s see what happened Wednesday in another edition of World Cup: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly:
Did you need any more proof that this is Lionel Messi’s tournament? You got it on Wednesday.
Messi left it late before winning Argentina’s first two games with a pair of superb goals, but he wasted no time against Nigeria. La Pulga went for pure power scoring his first in the third minute, then produced a signature free kick for his second before halftime.
I can’t think of another man that excites me quite as much as Messi does.— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker)June 25, 2014
Messi now on four. Maradona got five in 1986. (If you’re into that kind of thing… which I am.)— Miguel Delaney (@MiguelDelaney)June 25, 2014
So much for Messi not being the same player for Argentina. Reckon he’s been saving himself for this.— Ian Darke (@IanDarke)June 25, 2014
I think Lionel Messi wants to win the World Cup, you guys.— Brooks Peck (@BrooksDT)June 25, 2014
Messi and Neymar living up to their billing. Fantastic free kick by the Argentine.— Grant Wahl (@GrantWahl)June 25, 2014
@RayHudson no that’s Suarez— Tom Steigerwald (@T_Stagzxo)June 25, 2014
And because Nigeria also had their scoring boots on, the World Cup of Goals continued:
When Argentina play Brazil in the final, the score will be 5-7. #EarlyPrediction— Dan Colasimone (@ArgentinaFW)June 25, 2014
Goals for all! #NGAvsARG— Alexi Lalas (@AlexiLalas)June 25, 2014
One of the joys of this tournament is wondering how many goals Messi would score if he got to play against the Argentinian defense.— Bill Barnwell (@billbarnwell)June 25, 2014
When people talk about how there is no scoring in soccer, I honestly don’t know what the hell they’re talking about.— Sam Borden (@SamBorden)June 25, 2014
Both teams defending is abysmal !— Rio Ferdinand (@rioferdy5)June 25, 2014
Even Iran scored on Wednesday, which is significant because…
— OptaFranz (@OptaFranz)June 25, 2014
In the late games, Xherdan Shaqiri lit it up for Switzerland.
— FOX Sports Live (@FOXSportsLive)June 25, 2014
"Shaq Attack" scored the 50th hat trick in World Cup history and the second of 2014 after Thomas Muller, his Bayern Munich teammate.
— Jerome Boateng (@JB17Official)June 25, 2014
Shaqiri has scored more goals in just one game than England— Fisnik Jashari (@FisnikJashari)June 25, 2014
Messi’s latest heroics came two days after yet another spectacular performance from his Barcelona teammate and Brazil golden boy Neymar. That led us all to wonder, what’s been going on with the third poster boy of this World Cup, Cristiano something or other?
While Messi and Neymar now lead the Golden Boot race with four goals a piece, the reigning FIFA Ballon d’Or winner has a big fat 0 next to his name (though he does have one game-saving assist to his name, to be fair).
Ronaldo does lead in one category though: total haircuts.
He got another one, and unfortunately it is even more of an atrocity than his Vanilla Ice look for the USA game:
— Edgard Maciel de Sá (@edmacieldesa)June 25, 2014
Cristiano Ronaldo’s World Cup so far: 3 hairstyles Lionel Messi’s World Cup so far: 4 goals.— Footy Humour (@FootyHumour)June 25, 2014
Oooo, this is awkward…
All the big players stepping up this World Cup. Messi, Neymar, Robben, Muller, Suarez. Well almost all of them….Ronaldo….— Cristian Nyari (@Cnyari)June 25, 2014
We’ve already had our share of crimson masks at this World Cup: Clint Dempsey broke his nose against Ghana and Thomas Muller had to receive stitches next to his right eye after a collision he suffered against, yup, Ghana.
Now, we can add Ecuador’s Cristian Noboa to the list of bloodied World Cup veterans. The midfielder clashed heads with France’s Blaise Matuidi, leaving him with a nasty gash on the back of the head. In order for Noboa to continue, medics placed a giant bandage on his head and secured it by pulling a mesh stocking cap over it.
Though head injuries aren’t anything to joke about, this look amused pretty much everyone:
Noboa’s playing in a bloody onion bag. #ECUvFRA— Church of Soccer (@churchofsoccer)June 25, 2014
— Soccer Gods (@soccergods)June 25, 2014
Fair play to Christian Noboa, doesn’t care what he looks like pic.twitter.com/hPHWyLJwt0— Paddy Power (@paddypower)June 25, 2014
Noboa looking like a character from a Todd Browning film.— Philippe Auclair (@PhilippeAuclair)June 25, 2014
Somebody please photoshop Christian Noboa serving food at a cafeteria. #hairnet (PS that cannot be a legit solution to major head bleeding)— Avi Creditor (@AviCreditor)June 25, 2014
Done and done!