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    Lionel Messi speaks about Argentina’s World Cup hopes

    World Cup

    Lionel Messi has spoken to the Express and opened up about his World Cup hopes, and noted that Argentina are hoping to be world champions.

    He noted that when on form, his national side can be a huge threat to anyone who plays them, and after of course coming so close and missing out during the last World Cup, they want to make sure they do everything in their power to win it this time – and will play each and every game as though it’s a final.

    He spoke with the Express and said: “Our challenge is to be champions.

    “We know it won’t be easy but I’m certain that Argentina has a squad capable of being a champion in Russia. If the players all believe the same then we can be contenders.

    “It’s true that the qualifying phase was complicated for us because we took too long to do it.

    “But the important thing is that we are here in this World Cup and that we give everything to achieve as much as we can.

    “If Argentina goes out there and plays as we know we can then it will be very difficult to beat us.

    “We have experienced World Cups before and we know that every rival will come out to try and beat us and play the game as if it is a final. That always makes it more complicated. But we are used to it.

    “It will be important to start strongly. Iceland did well in their last tournament so the first match will not be comfortable. But these are the ones to win if you don’t want the next matches to be even more complicated.”

    Lionel Messi

    Lionel Messi of Barcelona (C) celebrates as he scores his sides third goal during the La Liga match between Deportivo La Coruna and Barcelona at Estadio Riazor on April 29, 2018 in La Coruna, Spain. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

    Ballon d’Or

    One thing that Messi will know is that a good World Cup will not only mean he’s once again in pole position to win a record breaking sixth Ballon d’Or, but he will also be able to finally put the questions over his performances for the national team aside.

    Messi has constantly been dogged by allegations over his performances in big tournaments and finals for his country – and winning the World Cup would almost certainly cement his name in the hall of fame as the greatest footballer ever.

    See also: Juventus boss Massimiliano Allegri reveals he rejected Real Madrid move

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