The Telegraph
Tuesday , June 17 , 2014
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Leo: I am relieved

Lionel Messi celebrates after scoring against Bosnia and Herzegovina, at the Maracana, on Sunday. Argentina won 2-1

Rio de Janeiro: Lionel Messi was delighted to conquer his “anxiety” about Argentina’s World Cup opener after his wonder-goal inspired them to victory over Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Messi confessed to suffering “nerves” ahead of Sunday’s 2-1 win at the Maracana following a first half in which he failed to live up to his tag.

A tactical switch had the desired effect as he produced a trademark run and finish.

“It’s not easy to play the first match in the World Cup and what it means but the important thing is the result. The goal helped me conquer my anxiety. I am relieved,” he said after collecting his Man of the Match award.

“It’s important that we started off on the right foot with the three points, but we do have to improve. We had a great second half. We had the ball much more, created several opportunities and that’s what we have to continue to do.”

Messi admitted he felt isolated by the first half as manager Alejandro Sabella’s decision to play a three-man defence almost backfired.