Poland scraped into the last 16 of the World Cup on goal difference after a backs to the walls performance saw them lose 2-0 to Group C winners Argentina.
With the group on a knife edge heading into the final round of fixtures, Mexico conceded a last-gasp goal in a 2-1 victory over Saudi Arabia, sending Poland through after it had seemed for much of the second half that they would advance purely on fair play rules.
Messi will now lead Argentina out versus Australia in the next round, while Poland's reward for squeaking through is a tough test against reigning champions France.
Playing the 999th game of his senior career, Messi had two early chances saved by Szczesny as he struggled to get into the contest, with Robert Lewandowski suffering from a similar issue at the other end of the pitch.
Juventus goalkeeper Szczesny was again called into action to turn away an Alvarez shot but in attempting to claim a cross from the rebound he caught Messi with a stray hand, the Var alerting referee Danny Makkelie to the incident.
Poland World Cup 2022 squad
Goalkeepers: Bartlomiej Dragowski, Lukasz Skorupski, Wojciech Szczesny
Defenders: Jan Bednarek, Bartosz Bereszynski, Matty Cash, Kamil Glik, Robert Gumny, Artur Jedrzejczyk, Jakub Kiwior, Mateusz Wieteska, Nicola Zalewski
Midfielders: Krystian Bielik, Przemyslaw Frankowski, Kamil Grosicki, Jakub Kaminski, Grzegorz Krychowiak, Michal Skoras, Damian Szymanski, Sebastian Szymanski, Piotr Zielinski, Szymon Zurkowski
Forwards: Robert Lewandowski, Arkadiusz Milik, Krzysztof Piatek, Karol Swiderski
Who are the star names in the squad?
Undoubtedly, captain Robert Lewandowski is the star man, with more than 600 senior career goals at club and international level.
The Barcelona striker, who before joining the La Liga side played for Bayern Munich, is experiencing another goal streak this season so poses a huge threat to any opponent. Lewandowski will play the tournament wearing a Ukrainian flag captain's armband in solidarity with the besieged nation, as well as in recognition of the many refugees from Ukraine now living in Poland.
What are Poland’s fixtures?
What is Poland’s World Cup record?
Poland have competed at eight Fifa World Cups, with their debut in 1938.
Their best result was two third places, in 1974 and 1982, but since then they have only broken out of the group stage once, and failed to qualify in 2010 and 2014.
They were knocked out in the group stage at their last World Cup outing at Russia 2018.
At the Uefa European Championship, Poland's best result was a quarter-final appearance at the 2016 tournament.
Argentina | Australia | Belgium | Brazil | Cameroon | Canada | Costa Rica | Croatia | Denmark | Ecuador | England | France | Germany | Ghana | Iran | Japan | Mexico | Morocco | Netherlands | Poland | Portugal | Qatar | Saudi Arabia | Senegal | Serbia | South Korea | Spain | Switzerland | Tunisia | Uruguay | USA | Wales
Poland are currently a best price of 150/1 to win the World Cup 2022.