Updated 12:24 AM EST, Tue, Feb 25, 2020

Pablo Zabaleta Flaunts Bloody Face & Blue Wig in After-Win Selfie

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Argentina should be happy that it beat the tough team assembled by the Netherlands on penalties at the World Cup in Brazil. But just when you think the face of superstar Lionel Messi—the most prominent booter in the winning team—will be hogging the Internet, another player stole his thunder.

Pablo Zabaleta, a Manchester City right back, went on to pose for a selfie at Argentina's dressing room, with a bright blue wig and a bandage on his face, the same things he wore at the celebrations out on the pitch, the Daily Mail reports.

Zabaleta posted the photograph on Twitter, reassuring Argentina fans that he was not as hurt as it might have seemed, the Telegraph says. His face was bloodied following a collision with Dirk Kuyt in extra-time, the former taking an elbow to the face.

Both he and Javier Mascherano played on for Argentina despite blows to the head, said an AP report posted on ABC News. The new Twitter sensation bled from his mouth after smashing his face into Kuyt's shoulder, but he played on with a piece of tissue in his mouth. Mascherano, meanwhile, looked upset after clashing his head with Georginio Winjaldum's. After receiving medical attention, the report adds, he returned to the game.

The Daily Mail notes that the 29-year-old derailed Arjen Robben on the wing to help achieve the three-game winning streak in the knockout stages. Lionel Messi has been up front in the team's charge, and Zabaleta and the rest of the defense have often not been noticed for their work by spectators, the report adds, but Zabaleta's teammates recognized his stellar work as they huddled after the Maxi Rodriguez charge.

The Guardian found the semi-final dismal until the players lined up for the penalty. Holland had displayed an inability to beat Argentina goalkeeper Sergio Romero (through Ron Vlaar and Wesley Sneijder) as well as the fact that the lineup did not have a single shot on target during the main match. Argentina was not far better, the report added, noting that the showing by the Argentines only reiterated Germany's upper-hand position heading to Maracanã on Sunday.  

That prediction aside, Zabaleta now has in his hands the rare chance to extend the euphoria from a very successful season with City, through a contention for the World Cup trophy on Sunday. But as the world awaits, it seems content on sharing what Bleacher Report calls a "standard I-just-made-the-World-Cup-Final selfie" from behind the scenes. The report posted the tweet with more than 53,000 likes and more than 41,000 favorites.

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