Lionel MESSI on Argentina: “We are not the best”

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Lionel Messi Argentina
Lionel Messi with the Argentina National Team.

With the World Cup less than a month away, Argentina captain Lionel Messi spoke about the team’s chances and stated that they are not the best.

In an interview with Pasión por el Fútbol, the world’s best player commented on the three opponent’s in the group and said the team needs work. Here’s what he had to say:

“There’s a big challenge coming up for me personally as well as the group. For the country in general, their dream is the same as ours. It’s a beautiful responsibility to be able to represent the entire country at the World Cup.

“We have time to work and we need it. We have to go in there with calmness and send out a message that we will be the best in the world because that is not the case. We are not the best in the world, let’s be realistic. And with that humility, we have to go look for that dream.

“We have players to be able to dream. It’s important to start off with a win to build confidence. We don’t have an easy group.”

Lionel MESSI on Argentina’s chances at the 2018 FIFA World Cup:

“We have to take it match by match. Starting off with a win is important because it’ll then make us calmer. It’s not an easy group. Iceland showed in the Euro’s that they can go up against anyone.

“Croatia has a very good midfield and if you let them, they’ll control the ball all match long. They have Spain’s style. And it always costs us when we play Nigeria.”

Lionel MESSI on his future:

“It becomes more and more clear that Barcelona will be my only team in Europe. After that, I have always said that I wanr to play football in Argentina but I don’t know if it will happen. I have it in mind.

“I’d like to live it, be it for six months or a few matches but I don’t know. One never knows. My dream was to play for Newell’s as a kid, going to the matches with my dad, my brothers, my friends… After that; circumstances in life took me elsewhere but I still have that in mind.”

It’s clear that Lionel MESSI has his eyes set on capturing the World Cup. Very mature comments by the captain.

43 COMMENTS

  1. Good to hear this from Messi: “We have to take it match by match. Starting off with a win is important because it’ll then make us calmer. It’s not an easy group.”

  2. I believe that we can beat Iceland. This kind of team only plays well against European teams who play straight forward and fast football.

    All ex-Yougoslavia teams have always some talented players but they got KO quite soon in each big competition for some unknown reasons. The only good competition they did well was back to 98. I guess it’s more psychological stuff. Rakitic Modric is world class but behind is very average. It will be a specular and tough game as I guess Nigeria will do a draw with Croatia so they need to win on the second one. We have good track record against them, I think fast players like Pavon can make the difference in counter attack.

    So if we win the first 2 games, we can be guaranteed for the 1st place and play relax against Nigeria and let the main players take a break. The key is the game vs Croatia. A 1-0 or 2-1 against Croatia and Iceland I am buyer. Important is to be at the peak at the quarter. That’s how all champions did in the past.

    • Yes, Timing is very important. Team must evolve during the tournament… As we did in 2014 with limited resources, like Lavezzi,Enzo,Biglia & Demi.. who weren’t in the starting lineup in the beginning..

      This time we have a variety of choices in stock. The likes of Pavon, (i hope he starts from beginning) meza,Lanzini,Dybala, acuna all must be ready to come in at any point & the team must be set before the make or Break Quarter final match.
      I have a strong feeling, if we can jumb it, we will be unstoppable.

  3. I am little surprised the way most here keeping Boca Star Pavon, far from near to the starting line up.
    In my opinion, he has no competition for the RW Position.. i have watched Boca matches just for him… He is very energetic, dynamic, visionary unlike Di Maria (who runs like headless chicken sometimes) & fast enough, with ball control second to messi only..
    And he is versatile. Can play in both wings, defend well. Do good even as CF in times..
    Of course he’s not on top form always, but he’s that type of a player who can change the match in a moment of surprise play. A version of the likes of Robben & Ribery.

    4_2_3_1 with He & Di Maria Changing wings often will be devastating to any backline. To his plus point, he defends decently as well..
    With all respect to Lanzini Meza or dybala, this guy deserves to start from the day 1. IMHO.

    • @Gokul, I agree with you on Di Marie, I have no idea why coaches like him so much…he loses the ball or does something silly in the final third…his passes are bad, his crosses are terrible…I need someone to make a good cases for him….he should be on the bench and only come in to help…he always gets injure during finals…Perotti, Pavon or Centurion would do far better than him…I am not sure.

    • I like the idea of using him as a left forward, so that he can cut inside like Villa and Sanchez in the past with Barca, next to Messi in attack, with Lanzini-Lo Celso-Di Maria behind this pair.

  4. It seems sampoli is going for 4_4_2 not 4_2_3_1..
    Dimaria in left, Lanzini in right & Lo Celso & Masche filling the midfield..

    • No it’s a 4-2-3-1… loCelso and mascherano as doble 5.. loCelso box to box and mascherano staying back… with them combining with Lanzini onbthe right, Messi in the middle and Dimaria in the left is dynamic .. higuain will start against Haiti but hopefully Aguero will be healthy by the oceans game

      • on paper looks nice. But i would have liked Meza at Right midfield. Lanzini replacing Dimaria for 2nd half. Will also be great to see Armani in action against Haiti . Atleast will know if he is good or bad. Somehow Caballero with all the inactivity this year & the Spain debacle – looks shaky.

  5. This world cup is almost similar to the 2006 world cup for us.

    I dont know if anyone remembers that one…we were exactly like this one. Nobody counted us before the world cup as we didn’t have the best of squads in name. But IMO thats our best world cup team probably since the 1986 one.

    We played the most brilliant football and we fell short just because of the madness of our manager. To this day I feel like we should have won that one because we WERE A TEAM.

    Hopefully this will be our world cup this time.

    • Yes unbelievably nobody thinks we can even reach semis.many also predicting group stage exit or 2nd round exit.we lost all respect we had .and we have themselves to blame for.we have a better cb in garay or musacchio but we are not calling them.we are picking rojo even after his poor performances.it really hurts when everybody neglects our beloved Argentina.I was watching some Nigerian news channel video they are thinking they can easily beat us and were more concerned for Iceland.who is playing their first wc and has no stars.we have messi aguero dybala dimaria higuain mascherano otamendi yet nobody thinks we can be a contender it hurted me a lot

      • Anuparno chill yaar, i can see you are a diehard fan. I read your comments in every article. Let me assure you Mēsira jaẏa habē….Vamos Argentina

      • @anuparno – Musacchio not even being able to break into AC Milan playing11. Garay clearly it seems his problem & not coaches. Someone not interested should just be ignored. Also Garay is no where near his 2014 form. He is just a decent CB now. If at all a change in defense , Pezella would have been the option. I think Pezella missed out bcos Sampa felt he cannot initiate a build up.

    • first of all…we had a superb team in 2006! could have been even better by calling up zanetti! second…no! it wont be our year! plz stop dreaming! its nothing there. we dont have a team. we are not used to a tactics. there is zero self esteem. zero will. they all have lost all confidence. will show in the games against Haiti and Israel which we will play without messi. ARG 0 – 0 HAI, ISR 1 – ARG 0. and then we are going to the world cup…with a dead team!

  6. This time excuses started even before the world cup starts. One of the best coach of the world, undoubtedly world’s best front line, one of the most exciting midfield and a very decent defence but still he is not confident. His weak leadership skill is the biggest concern.

    • still he is not confident… he knows inside he can do it… but… if he says…. that…. everybody… willl have eye on argentina….. yes world best front line… not world best midfield…not wordl best defense not world best goalkeeper… but other team like brazil… world class in four department… including coach.. germany…. complete team…. france…. and spain…. they are complete… we are not complete wolrd best… so he admitted that….. even i think france spain and brazil one of them will be out in group stage… argentina have best attack and best coach… with that we have to compete against others… so he is more careful with his worlds…. when tournment goes on alll willl speak about argentina…. we have to reach step by step to the final…. then think about winning…

    • Don’t be a moron.

      He said we are not amongst the best, he just wants everyone to keep realistic expectations. He was very honest there. Raising expectation with words won’t do any good. Argentina will have to keep the expectation level at the lowest till the tournament starts. The expectation level should be raised not with words, but with performance from the first group match.

      It’s crystal clear that Brazil, Spain & Germany are favourites. Argentina, along with France, England, Belgium, Portugal etc, are amongst the second layer of teams with a good chance to win it.

    • We saw how Maradona’s leadership skills, his kissing and hugging players led us brilliantly when we conceded four against Germany. At the very least, Messi has never brought shame on his own nation.

    • I think this is exactly
      How a leader should be prior to the tournament. Recognizing that there are other more touted teams, and acknowledging they are not the best team but but also saying we have the right people and talent to beat any team. We can win the tournament.

      Completely astute as a leader.

      Also though Mascherano interview was excellent.

    • The biggest leadership, of Maradonna-Masche in 2010. World laughed at.😂😂 For the love of leader. Hugging kissing & what not!

      2006 Sorin was an exceptional leader. Wat happened?
      Be little realistic, friend.

  7. The fact is Argentina can beat ANYONE any given day.. the problem is because of our transition defense, Argentina can also LOSE to anyone any given day… we still have one of the best rosters in the world but the question is; Can argentina gel into a team in such a short amount of time ?

  8. We know we are not among top 3. May not be top 5 also.but if Chelsea can do it by that team why not we.they beat peak guardiola barca over 2 legs and strong Bayern in final.I hope somehow sampaoli will manage a way to improve our bogus defence and only then we can challenge anybody.

    • it will happen once in a generation… but we are not iceland to do that… we are argentina… we have the best players… so we have to be like barca bayern real madrid atletico and juventus…mancity… we are a top dog… we have to find our attacking play… and keep to improve on that… if we fail… we will improve next tournment… like germany… they fail with their attacking play in 2002 and 2006 in semis… 2008 in euro… in semi and 2010 in semis… and 2012 again in semi… the players changed… still they kept their style… it paid of in 2014 and 2017… they won with two different teams…. argentina need to try atleast…. if you want defense…. look at netherlands. that will happen to argentina soon… if we play defense… 2010 finalist.. 2014 semi finalist…. and now they dont know how to play football… even small teams destroyed netherland…. they failed to quallify bothe euro and world cup…. if you want to get best out of messi you need to play attacking football… otherwise… he will be man marked… spain consider favoretes… because of their style of play…… argentina need to create that…. in this tournment we dont have top class players on each position…. but…. we have to build… with some of these great players….. if each one steps up… in each match… we have better chance than the last tournment….

      what about messi gets three chances in the match…

      i hate defensive teams…. best way to defend is attack… if messi is on the attack…. our goalkeeper will join spectator….

      guaridiola::: YOU HAVE TO DEFEND THE BALL 30 METERS NOT IN THE 80 METERS….

      CHILLE looked great team with gary medal at the back and unknown pllayers… only sanchez and vidal are world class… chille played well in the 2014

      • Without proper defence you can’t win anything.cruyeff dream team zico’s brazil was one of the best attacking team ever played the world cup but still didn’t win anything.last time any team won something just by attack was 1970 brazil and that team had Pele dd vaba etc and considered the best team ever.and modern football changed a lot.you can play attacking brand of football but for winning the world cup you need a solid defence .if a team like Nigeria scores 4 goals against you then you are really in trouble.that game dented marchesin and pezella’s chances for WC spot.Spain game costed bustos a wc spot.I’m sure sampaoli not a fool why he dropped those players? because he knows without a proper defence we can’t do anything

        • actually Nigeria game – pezella error was very marginal ( i think minor error in goal 2 or 3) . It was Masche , Marchesin & Otamendi who fumbled . Lets hope our defense will rise to the occasion. Some of our 2014 defenders also were not sounding great when tournament started – rojo, basanta , demichellis. But they played well during tournament. My worry is Romero’s absence .

          • Otamendi not a world class defender he always commits mistakes.but we don’t have options.if we had a decent cb pair dropping otamendi would be wise but we don’t have that now

    • Argentina must never try to be a Chelsea, there are teams like Uruguay, Iceland who can copy Chelsea’s style. We have already tried it in 2014 and failed in the last hurdle.

      We should try to play an attacking football, but be solid at the back at the same time. Thats what Sampaoli is also trying to do.

  9. “WE HAVE TIME TO WORK AND WE NEED IT. WE HAVE TO GO IN THERE WITH CALMNESS AND SEND OUT A MESSAGE THAT WE WILL BE THE BEST IN THE WORLD BECAUSE THAT IS NOT THE CASE. WE ARE NOT THE BEST IN THE WORLD, LET’S BE REALISTIC. AND WITH THAT HUMILITY, WE HAVE TO GO LOOK FOR THAT DREAM.” GOAT MESSI

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