Lionel Messi Talks Newell's Old Boys 'Dream,' Argentina World Cup Hopes

Ross Houston
December 7, 2017

Argentina star Lionel Messi is anxious about the threat posed by the Super Eagles to his country's chances of reaching the second round of the Russian Federation 2018 World Cup.

"It hurts a lot to have gone to three finals and be so criticised".

A secret clause in his deal allows the 30-year-old to offer his opinion on who the Catalan giants should attempt to lure to Spain's north eastern region and, with Barca planning to bring Coutinho in, offered his verdict on that particular chase.

His previous deal was due to expire in the summer, meaning he would have been free to speak to potential suitors in the new year.

"He is one of the best strikers in the world and he has shown that every week at Juventus", the Barcelona player told Argentina broadcaster TyC on Wednesday. But it's true that we have to improve if we aspire to be world champions. The criticism went beyond normal and went beyond football.

At one point it looked as though Messi may not be at the 2018 World Cup even if Argentina did qualify after he announced his worldwide retirement in June 2016 after a second successive Copa America final defeat to Chile. The bitterness we feel is because we know what awaits us if we do badly.

But Argentina skipper Messi said the former Real Madrid star has quality and his time away from the country's team has done him some world of good.

Having qualified for next year's World Cup in Russia, Sampaoli recently said he was going to consider calling up Higuain again.

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