But thereafter, it was conspicuous that there was a need to deal with the minor consequences and that a lot remained unexplained.
Argentina's current campaign, in stark contrast to the last World Cup cycle when they qualified comfortably and reached the final in Brazil, has been dogged by Argentine FA mismanagement, two changes of coach and poor results.
Ecuador have nothing to play for, unlike Argentina.
That will be easier said than done as they have drawn their last three contests and are without a win in four qualifiers, so they are hardly on top form.
Thus, in the summer of 2018 Barcelona will have to consider proposals for their leader.
Colombia's James Rodriguez, left, and Radamel Falcao are fourth in the table.
Imagine the excitement of a Portugal-Argentina clash in Russia, with Messi and Ronaldo facing off for the right to pursue their World Cup dream by ending that of their great rival at the same time? Under Zinedine Zidane, though, Isco has thrived, becoming virtually undroppable.
But even if Messi were to achieve that, the supreme accolade of greatest of all time would still elude him with many judges.
Just shy of 3,000 metres, so the air is thin, and shortness of breath becomes a handicap after sustained exertions for those not used to the altitude.
Tabarez does not believe failure to qualify for the World Cup would leave a stain on Messi's illustrious career.
Draw at half-time and Argentina to win at 11/4 looks like an attractive bet as well. Passions have boiled over and no longer is it a given that Barcelona will be allowed to continue to ply their trade in La Liga.
Will any of the following deals happen?
It seems the current captain gets frustrated himself if his world-beating talents are not put to use.
It is unclear whether Sampaoli will persist with Benedetto again on Tuesday.
The Netherlands need to beat Sweden by seven goals in their final qualifier to ensure a spot in the playoffs.
The Uruguay boss insisted the five-time Ballon d'Or winner cannot do it all for Argentina.
During his two full seasons, Dybala has played a prominent role in back-to-back Serie A and Coppa Italia wins, but he has also starred in the Champions League too, scoring twice against Barcelona in the quarters to help send his side through to the final.
The Grand Premier League plans to make Barcelona a record offer for Lionel Messi.