Former Argentine midfielder, Juan Riquelme believes Lionel Messi is capable of winning the FIFA World Cup for the Albiceleste at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia if he stays in good physical condition reports Completesportsnigeria.com.
Messi missed Argentina’s last two friendlies against Italy and Spain due to injury and the former Barcelona and Villarreal star, Riquelme hopes the uninspiring Albiceleste improves before the World Cup kicks off in June.
Argentina tallied their heaviest defeat in a football match for a third time in their 6-1 loss to Spain at the Wanda Metropolitano stadium on Tuesday night after they had defeated Italy 2-0 four days earlier.
The Albiceleste’s heaviest defeats were identical 6-1 losses to Czechoslovakia and Bolivia before last night’s loss.
Riquelme admits that the two-time World Champions are still far from a complete team with barely three months to the kick off following the defeat.
“I hope that Argentina will improve because they are still in that process of building a team, which is the most difficult,” Riquelme was quoted on Mundo Albiceleste.
“This team is still being formed. We hope that in those 30 days of the World Cup, Messi is well. If Leo is fine, he is capable of everything.
“For the first time, he (Messi) comes rested to a World Cup, without having to play every game for Barcelona and that is an advantage. He will be physically better than in other World Cups.”
Riquelme also tipped Brazil, France and Germany as favourites to win the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
“I see Brazil as very strong. They’re playing well and they have Neymar. Germany can do well as well and they always fight. France, too but Brazil are very strong.”