Lionel Messi: Argentina World Cup 2022 claim made over Barcelona star

October 10, 2018
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That’s the view of former Argentina boss Jorge Sampaoli who was in charge of the South American nation at the recent World Cup in Russia.

That tournament saw the side knocked out in the last-16 by eventual champions France after a thrilling 4-3 loss.

Argentina have struggled on the international stage in recent years, finishing second at the Copa America in 2015 and 2016 meaning Messi’s only international trophy is a gold medal from the 2008 Olympics.

Lionel Messi hasn’t appeared for his country since the World Cup and is not in the squad for friendlies against Iraq and Brazil during this international break.

But Sampaoli believes the Barcelona star will return and that he can help Argentina to victory in Qatar in four years’ time.

Asked if Messi can win the World Cup, Sampaoli told Marca: “Of course he can. But this needs a process, considering what has happened up to now.

“Processes don’t break, they are corrected. For the next World Cup or Copa America, there needs to be organisation, unlimited confidence and to know what the process requires.

“In other words, if the Copa America is not won, we need to maintain that process and not break it.

“Enough of that madness where if you don’t win, you are a loser.

“It’s not like that, if you believe, then it’s possible even if it may happen later on. But you have to believe.”

Messi is yet to discuss his international future having previously hung up his Argentina boots in June 2016.

He returned just months later, and was key as Argentina qualified for the World Cup.

But Argentina legend Diego Maradona believes Lionel Messi should not return to international football.

“What would I tell Messi? To not come back any more. To retire,” Maradona recently said.

“The Under-15s lose and it is Messi’s fault, the fixture list in Argentina puts Racing against Boca and Messi is to blame.

“He is always to blame. Stop breaking my balls.

“I would tell him: ‘don’t go anymore, man’. Let’s see if they can handle that. Let’s see if they’re really big men.”



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