Messi rates Iceland as most difficult side in Group D 

Argentina’s Lionel Messi. PHOTO: AFP/ALFREDO ESTRELLA

Argentina captain, Lionel Messi believes that Iceland, rather than Nigeria, is potentially the strongest opposition against his country in Group D of the Russia 2018 World Cup.

He also believes that failure at the World Cup would force most of the current players in the Argentine team out of the national team.

Speaking in an interview published by TyC Sports, Messi acknowledged that Russia 2018 would not be easy for any team, adding, however, that Argentina has the quality to be successful at the competition.

Assessing the sides in Group D, Messi said: “I think that Croatia gives you more room to play but Iceland is more closed off in the back. And it’s very difficult to open up a team, which is so tight on the back and quick on the counter.

“We went through a tough spell. But it is true that we have to improve if we aspire to be world champions. 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. As we are today, we are not far from that although there are better teams than us such as Brazil, Germany, France and Spain.”

He acknowledged that the current Argentine team has gone through difficult times, adding that “detractors are waiting for all of us to leave, because it seems like we have been on the national team too long and it gets tiring to see the same players.

“Everything happens because of that. People want to see results. We feel like that and we carry that (burden). That’s not something that just happened. We’ve thought about that since the last Copa America, since the World Cup Qualifiers.”

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Lionel Messi
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