Dybala: 'I'm lucky to watch Messi up close'

Lionel Messi's latest magical display impressed Argentina team-mate Paulo Dybala, who lauded the star forward.

Lionel Messi's sensational hat-trick against Ecuador ensured Argentina a place in next year's FIFA World Cup to be held in Russia.   -  Getty Images

Argentina attacker Paulo Dybala described himself as "lucky" to be able to see the magic of Lionel Messi up close after his nation reached the World Cup.

A sublime hat-trick from Messi saw Argentina to a come-from-behind 3-1 win over Ecuador in Quito on Tuesday.

Read: Magical Messi seals World Cup qualification for Argentina

Read: Messi, Suarez create CONMEBOL history

Read: Messi - 'It would've been crazy if Argentina had missed the World Cup'

Having looked in danger of missing out on Russia 2018, the result saw Jorge Sampaoli's men finish third in CONMEBOL qualifying.

Dybala, who was an unused substitute, was delighted to see Messi's incredible display.

"I am lucky to see him and have him so close," the Juventus star said, via the team's Twitter account.

The win was just Argentina's seventh in qualifying, and it finished a distant 13 points behind group winner Brazil.

Javier Mascherano urged his side to search for improvement before next year's showpiece event.

"We must analyse everything that has happened so far and improve," he said.

Uruguay and Colombia joined Brazil and Argentina in sealing automatic places, while Peru goes into a play-off against New Zealand and South American champion Chile stunningly missed out altogether.