11/30/2022
Argentina skipper Lionel Messi reveals teams plans and mindset ahead of their World Cup opener against Saudi Arabia on Tuesday.

Speaking ahead of their group opener against Saudi Arabia on Tuesday, the Argentina skipper gave an indication of the team’s plans and mindset for the upcoming spectacle.

“We are very excited,” Messi said to ESPN Argentina.

“We have a very nice group that is very eager, but we started to go little by little. We know that World Cup groups are never easy and we try to, hopefully, begin the competition in the best way to face everything that comes after. But we are very excited,” he added.

Argentina were beaten 4-3 by eventual winners France in the last term in Russia in the Round of 16. Four years before that, they came tantalizingly close to winning the silverware, but were only denied by Mario Gotze who scored the winner for Germany in the final. Messi suffered two back-to-back Copa America final defeats at the hand of Chile in 2015 and 2016. But he eventually got his hands on the continental trophy last year as Argentina emerged victorious against Brazil. Since his WC debut in 2006, the former Barcelona man has played in 19 World Cup games and has racked up 6 goals and 5 assists. And given this will be his last hurrah in the grandest stage, ‘La Pulga’ will aim to finish off on a high note.

Argentina will be aiming to win their 3rd WC title in Qatar

Messi himself has been in terrific form coming to the World Cup, scoring 11 goals and assisting 17 for PSG this season. Other players like Angel Di Maria, Rodrigo De Paul are also in a rich vein of form. The Argentine team also going through a supreme period as they are unbeaten in the last 36 matches. They won their latest friendlies at a canter against Jamaica (3-0) and UAE (5-0) respectively.

Argentina are placed along with Mexico, Poland and Saudi Arabia in Group C. They are overwhelming favourites to make it to the knockout rounds and from there on the path will get sterner. Will the Lionel Messi swansong become a fairytale story in the streets and allies of Argentina? Only time will tell.