It didn't start as expected, but Argentina's campaign at Qatar 2022 ended exactly how they wanted - with Lionel Messi lifting the FIFA World Cup trophy. The road to the title was far more complicated than predicted, though.

La Albiceleste were shocked in their debut by Saudi Arabia, who claimed a come-from-behind win in one of the biggest upsets in tournament history. However, Lionel Scaloni's men bounced back quickly en route to the title.

Argentina had to pass challenging tests to claim the trophy, including a hard-fought quarterfinal win over the Netherlands before the shootout win against France in the grand final. Messi, however, mentions another game as the toughest one in that tournament.

Lionel Messi reveals Argentina's most difficult game at 2022 World Cup

"I think the game against Mexico was the most difficult one for us because of everything that was at stake," Messi said in an interview with Argentine journalist Andy Kusnetzoff for radio station Urbana Play.

"Despite the result, I think it was also our worst game," Messi added. "It was a must-win game and that makes you play differently. But I believed we were going to pull through, without this group it would have been much harder."

Though it was only Argentina's second game in Qatar, their World Cup hopes were already on the line. La Albiceleste needed a win to control their own destiny, while a defeat would knock them out of the tournament.

As the minutes went by, the danger of missing out on the round of 16 looked real and Argentina were struggling to get on the scoresheet. Until Messi came up with a moment of magic. After 64 minutes, the Argentine star broke the deadlock with a perfect shot from outside the box to keep Argentina's aspirations alive. 

From then on, his team took control of the game to secure all three points and pave the way towards the title. They still had other difficult games, but Messi has a point. Argentina had the weight of the world on their shoulders in that win over Mexico.