Argentina captain, Lionel Messi has warned his teammates to be wary of the ‘average teams’ at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.
Argentina will face Iceland, Croatia and Nigeria in group D at the World Cup in Russia.
Messi who still rues La Albiceleste’s 2014 FIFA World Cup final defeat to Germany in Brazil admits in an interview with Mundo Albiceleste, that the two time World Champions must be prepared to end their long wait for a third World Cup title.
“We all have to be fine in order to do well in the World Cup. It gets more difficult because the teams are better prepared,” Messi began in an interview with Mundo Albiceleste
“Having gone to three finals and lost them all is a huge weight that we have. We want to overcome that barrier.”
Argentina with Messi lost two Copa America finals on penalties to Chile in 2015 and 2016. They also lost the 2014 World Cup final in Brazil.
“Today, an average team can break you down defensively, and on the counter can beat you 1-0. Football has become very competitive, very tactical.”
The Barcelona superstar also plays down the comparison between him and legendary Diego Maradona insisting that he wants to be remembered for what he has done for football.
“I don’t care about being the greatest of all time. Just the fact that people talk about what I have done or how my career will be remembered offers me satisfaction,” he said.
“I never looked to be the greatest or the second or third or fourth best.”
He also praises his national team coach, Jorge Sampaoli who claims that he (Messi) is the greatest footballer of all time.
“Sampaoli gives you all the information that you need for the matches, he’s not always on top of you. He does work with intensity. He always asks you to do things at maximum effort.
“Sampaoli told me personally I was the greatest of all time. But I think coaches look for ways to try to get the best out of their players. I just didn’t expect him to say that publicly and the instance that he said it in.”