June 27 (UPI) — FC Barcelona and Argentina striker Lionel Messi took to Instagram Tuesday to express his gratitude to God after his squad claimed a spot in the round of 16 at the 2018 World Cup.
Messi scored his first goal of the tournament in Tuesday’s 2-1 win against Nigeria in Argentina’s Group D finale in St. Petersburg, Russia. The game was very tight following the score, as Nigeria equalized in the 51st minute.
Marcos Rojo sent Argentina into the next round by scoring the game-winner in the 86th minute. Argentina advanced despite taking a draw in its first match and losing 3-0 to Croatia in its second game of the World Cup.
“I thank God for this joy and the beautiful madness in each game,” Messi wrote on Instagram. “There’s nothing better than being Argentine in the good and bad times.”
Messi’s post included several photos from Tuesday’s triumph. The post had more than 5.5 million likes on the social media platform as of Tuesday evening.
Messi’s wife, Antonella Roccuzzo, also posted a photo of her husband from the match on her Instagram account, writing: “let’s go my love” for the caption.
The five-time Ballon d’Or winner celebrated his 31st birthday on Sunday.