Messi announces desire to play for Newell's Old Boys

31 May, 2018, 23:18 | Author: Greg Lawrence
  • Lionel Messi could be headed stateside for a friendly against the United States in October. More

"Against Iceland we will have to take advantage of the domain, we need a high level of force in the World Cup".

With Argentina's first group game against Iceland in Russian Federation but weeks away, Messi also spoke about his worldwide career - which has seen him reach the World Cup final in 2014 but never lift a major trophy - and whether he might've been a part of the all-conquering Spain side of the last decade instead.

"We felt the affection of all the supporters tonight, unlike at other times [when there have been insults]".

And former Argentina striker Claudio Caniggia believes the unrelenting pressure on Messi to emulate Maradona, who nearly single-handedly led the Albiceleste to the 1986 World Cup, is unfair as his team-mates do not complement him and play to his strengths.

'We have good players and we are getting stronger to fight as an equal with anyone'. "We can not send the message that we are the best, because that's not true". "Quite a few squads are better".

However, he says he would be willing to forgo another title with the Catalan club if it meant he could finally get his hands on the World Cup trophy.

Messi, 30, left Newell's at age 13 and thus did not appear in a senior match for the club.

Messi said: "The other day I was talking to a friend and he was saying, 'Look, if you had stayed with Spain, you would be world champion'".

"But it wouldn't have been the same".

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"But it would not have been the same, obviously it never crossed my mind".

But he said: "From a sporting point of view, I would have preferred to play in Barcelona".

"There's always a chance in tournament football [but] I'll be honest, I would be surprised if England and Belgium don't beat them", he said.

"It would be Newell's, no one else".

"To be honest, we already know how to play against Croatia, but of course I will not tell you".

Asked about Argentina's Group D opponents, Messi added: "Iceland are a team that showed in the last European Championship that they are hard for anyone".

"More than the result we were able to say goodbye to our fans and show that we are going to Russian Federation with hope", Messi said. He missed the friendly in Krasnodar in November that Nigeria won 4-2.

Juventus striker Mario Mandzukic is the team's primary goal scoring threat and will have a key role to play if Croatia are to advance beyond the group stage for the first time since finishing third at the 1998 World Cup. Messi followed the shot with an easy right footed finish. But that's the way it is, we have to travel on the day before the match, play Israel in Israel and then from there go on to Russian Federation.

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