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Messi: Argentina One Small Step Away From Victory

BUENOS AIRES, July 11 (BERNAMA-NNN-Xinhua) -- Argentine forward Lionel Messi said the national team was just "one small step away" from becoming the champions of the 2014 Brazil World Cup.

Messi also dedicated the team's 4-2 win over Holland in Wednesday's semifinal match to sports journalist Jorge "Topo" Lopez, who died in an accident on the day of the game, and revealed in passing that he had been "tapped for a doping test."

"I'm very proud to be a part of this team!!! You're all phenomenal, what a game you played, how crazy!!! We made it to the final!! Let's enjoy it ... We're one small step away ...," the forward posted on his Facebook page.

"A very special recollection for Jorge 'Topo' Lopez, this victory is also especially for you, my friend," said Messi.

Lopez, 38, died early Wednesday in Sao Paulo when the taxi he was riding in on the way to his hotel was hit by a car driven by thieves fleeing the police.

Lopez, who was covering the World Cup for Argentine sports daily Ole and La Red radio, was somewhat close to Messi, having traveled with the Barcelona player to Spain on various occasions as part of his work.

Argentina defeated Holland in a penalty shootout following an evenly-matched game, at Sao Paulo's Corinthians Arena, that ended in a 0-0 tie in extra time.

On Sunday, Argentina plays Germany at Rio's Maracana Stadium for the championship title.

-- BERNAMA-NNN-XINHUA





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