Domingo, 17 Diciembre, 2017

Argentina must improve to succeed in Russia - Messi

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Alejandro Castrejon | Diciembre 08, 2017, 01:51

LIONEL MESSI has dropped a huge hint he will retire from international football if Argentina flop at the World Cup. "I have always said that I don't consider myself to be a striker, but I have been lucky enough to always score goals and win individual prizes", he said.

He also insisted he is happy with Valverde's rotation policy.

Messi told TyC Sports: "If we do badly at the World Cup, we all have to disappear from the national team".

"I realised that sometimes not playing is for the best".

"We were worthy of winning them because, without having played well, we had the clearest [chances] - both in the World Cup and the Copas America. But right here I believe that we should have won at least two of them". "But it's true that we must improve if we want to be world champions".

He subsequently reversed his decision and will be the linchpin of a talented Argentina side as they aim to win the World Cup next year.

Argentina endured a torrid qualifying campaign in South America's CONMEBOL group, only securing a World Cup place in the last match against Ecuador in October with a Messi-inspired 3-1 victory in Quito. However, he was hopeful that Sampaoli's team can improve as they will have a month to work on their game before the tournament begins. He said that media criticism has created a culture of fear within the squad.

"Years ago, my body didn't feel it but now it starts to feel the strain". People want results and if they don't get them, they want to see fresh blood. We spoke about it through messages, it was a good thing that he had this period of absence.

"And a part of that doubt is due to the way the country is at the moment", added Messi. "It hurts a lot to have gone to three finals and be so criticised". "I have a family and my children come first".