Published: Thu, May 31, 2018
Sport | By Joe Gonzales

Lionel Messi thanks Argentina fans for support despite Spain thrashing

Lionel Messi thanks Argentina fans for support despite Spain thrashing

Messi took on his usual role as the star of the show on Tuesday, scoring three and setting up the fourth for Sergio Aguero, who came off the bench to combine well with the Barcelona striker and Christian Pavon, another second-half substitute.

The two-time world champions - who last won the showpiece event in 1986 - scraped into the tournament thanks to Messi's magic. "At that World Cup, I scored two goals vs Argentina, we lost 3-2, but both progressed", Musa told Goal.

The Gent player was one of the key players of the Super Eagles during the qualifiers and will now get a second chance to be part of the final 23 going to Russian Federation.

The Germany squad is training hard ahead of their World Cup title defence in Russian Federation - nearly too hard judging by some of the challenges.

"But it wouldn't have been the same. That's where it all stems from, but at no time did the thought or any doubts cross my mind".

Messi repeated that he dreams not only of playing for Argentina but in Argentina, preferably for his boyhood club Newell's Old Boys.

"Every time I have it more clear that, in Europe, Barcelona is going to be my only place", Messi said.

"There's always a chance in tournament football [but] I'll be honest, I would be surprised if England and Belgium don't beat them", he said.

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"It will be at Newell's, nowhere else. I'd like to live that for at least six months, but you never know what's going to happen".

Argentina are in group D alongwith Croatia, Iceland and Nigeria.

Iceland, he said, "compete with anybody" pointing to their surprising run at Euro 2016.

When you have a player like Messi in your ranks, naturally, you're going to be considered as one of the favourites.

The five-time Ballon d'Or victor easily buried the shot, blasting it over Placide.

"Croatia have a midfield that plays very well, it is a style like Spain but one level below, and Nigeria always challenge us". Messi followed the shot with an easy right footed finish.

Messi's former Barcelona team-mate Javier Mascherano has also called on the team to band together after recent disappointments ahead of Argentina's penultimate friendly against Haiti today (tomorrow, Singapore time).

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