Football

Messi’s WC warning: Argentina fear nobody

Messi’s WC warning: Argentina fear nobody
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Lionel Messi has said Argentina do not fear any team at the World Cup but urged fans to stay calm with the tournament in Qatar less than a month away.

Copa America champions Argentina are unbeaten in 35 games since 2019 and have been drawn with Saudi Arabia, Mexico and Poland in Group C as they look to win their first World Cup title since 1986.

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« Today we are doing well and people are excited and think that we will come back with the Cup, but it is not like that, » Argentina captain and Paris Saint-Germain star Messi told Directv Sports.

« The World Cup is very difficult, many things have to happen [to win it]not only that we are doing well, many things that can leave you out and there are many teams that want the same as us and that are doing well.

« We are eager, we are going to fight, we are not afraid of anyone because we are ready to play against anyone, but with peace of mind. »

Messi has also said that defending champions France and fellow South American side Brazil are his favorites to lift the trophy in Qatar.

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Argentina began their 2018 World Cup campaign with a 1-1 draw against Iceland — a game in which Messi missed a penalty — and finished second in their group before being knocked out by eventual winners France in the last-16.

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Messi thinks the opening match against Saudi Arabia on Nov. 22 will be key to the team’s chances.

« In the first minutes of the first game the nerves and anxiety are difficult to control, » Messi said.

« I think the first game is very important because starting with a win gives you peace of mind.

« Last World Cup, we started with a draw and I’ve always said that if I had scored the penalty and we had won it we would have changed the whole story. »

Argentina play their final warm-up match against the United Arab Emirates on Nov. 16.

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