Ahead of Argentina’s group D encounter with the Super Eagles of Nigeria, Lionel Messi has revealed what he feels about the African side. Messi was scored two goals against Nigeria in a 3-2 win at the last edition in Brazil was missing in action last November when the Super Eagles proved bookmakers wrong with an emphatic 4-2 win over the two-time World Champions in an international friendly match in Russia.
In an interview, he expressed his fears about their opponent, he said, “We don’t know so much about Nigeria but the African teams are normally compact, tough and strong. So it will be no walkover,”
His view was corroborated earlier in the week by former team mate, Javier Mascherano who said “Nigeria is quite well known to us, we’ve always met in the last World Cups. They are tough, not just because of their physical power, but because their disorganisation has the effect of disorganising you as a rival and that is when teams like ours suffer the most,”
Messi also revealed, his thoughts on Argentina’s chances and his future with the Albeceleste:
“Our challenge is to be champions,” said the Barcelona superstar.
“We know it won’t be easy but I’m certain that Argentina has a squad capable of being a champion in Russia. If the players all believe the same then we can be contenders.”
“It’s true that the qualifying phase was complicated for us because we took too long to do it,” he said.
“But the important thing is that we are here in this World Cup and that we give everything to achieve as much as we can.
“If Argentina goes out there and plays as we know we can then it will be very difficult to beat us.
“We have experienced World Cups before and we know that every rival will come out to try and beat us and play the game as if it is a final. That always makes it more complicated. But we are used to it.
“It will be important to start strongly. Iceland did well in their last tournament so the first match will not be comfortable. But these are the ones to win if you don’t want the next matches to be even more complicated.”
“Croatia is a good team with players in the big European leagues and that makes them dangerous,” said Messi.