Argentina captain Messi: We'll have to disappear if World Cup goes badly

The Barcelona star left the Argentine outfit in 2001 to join the Catalan club's youth ranks, and has since maintained that he would like his career to come full circle and return to Rosario before hanging up his boots.

Messi also spoke about Nigeria's star, John Obi Mikel, who voted for him to win The Best Fifa Men's Player 2017, an award that finally went to Real Madrid and Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo.

The Juventus striker had also missed Argentina's previous two qualifiers, with the Albiceleste eventually booking their place in Russia with a 3-1 win in Ecuador in which Messi grabbed a hat-trick.

I think that we have time to improve in these games and before the World Cup. when we'll have a month to put everything in order before the start.

"But I think that this time away from the national team has done him good, now he is seeing things in a different light".

"As far as I am concerned, Higuain is one of the best centre-forwards in the world. But right here I believe we should have won at least two of them". The 30-year old's contract was set to expire in the summer, leading to speculations over his future with former manager, Pep Guardiola, on the horizon at Manchester City.

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.

"We have to improve if we must aspire to be world champions", Messi, a five-time Ballon d'Or winner told TyC Sports.

However, he has conceded that his willingness to return to his homeland will depend on the state of the country at the time. "Criticism went above and beyond what is normal and became personal", he said. The bitterness we feel is because we know what awaits us if we do badly.

In both the Champions League ties with Juventus and Sporting CP, Messi was initially restricted to the bench and insists that he's happy with that.

"People want results and if they do " t get them, they want to see fresh blood. It was only a first contact for them to know my family and for me to meet them.

  • Ricardo Clara