Officials outside the Olimpico Atahualpa in capital city Quito took the unique measure of using puppets to keep the peace
ECUADORIAN police used the bizarre method of playing with puppets to try to control the massive crowd ahead of the nation’s World Cup qualifier with Argentina
But it was Lionel Messi who ended up pulling the strings on Tuesday night.
The local officials outside the Olimpico Atahualpa in capital city Quito took the unique measure of using puppets to keep the peace as crowds swelled.
One puppet-wielding man, putting on a squeaky voice and all, claimed: “We are here collaborating with the public that will attend the meeting.”
The puppets of course were also wearing official police uniforms for the main event as Argentina fans flocked to the city ahead of their make-or-break game.
Jorge Sampaoli’s men were on the brink of not qualifying for their first World Cup since 1970.
However, Messi dragged the Albiceleste kicking and screaming to the tournament in Russia after a sublime hat-trick.
The Barcelona star just wouldn’t quit in Quito, even after Ecuador took a first-minute lead through Renato Ibarra.
Messi scored in the 12th, 20th and 62nd-minute to fire Argentina into the finals in Russia, with Copa America champions Chile the team to miss out.
The heartbreaking loss for Chile, following a 3-0 defeat at the hands of Brazil, prompted star man Arturo Vidal to hint at retiring from international duty.
Magical Lionel Messi hat-trick sends Argentina to World Cup