- Lionel Messi claims his country are not favourites to win the 2018 World Cup
- He insisted that they are going to Russia to contend as the rest of the participants in the competition
- The Barca forward is still searching for his first senior career title, while the south American team are hoping for their 3rd World Cup
Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi has insisted that Argentina will be going to Russia to contend for the World Cup title like every other country.
The forward scored a hatrick in their 4-0 win over Haiti in their World Cup build up game against Haiti on Tuesday, May 29.
However, he feels they are not favourites for this year’s edition of the championship despite arrays of stars included in their squad.
Argentina are in the same group as Iceland, Croatia and Nigeria in Group D and are clear favourites to progress.
Meanwhile, the Catalan club star believes the South American nation are not favourites to lift the trophy in Moscow on July 15.
“We are not candidates,” Lionel Messi spoke to Daily Express
“We’ve had a complicated process (to get to Russia), we are what we are. We have the players and we are fighting hard.
“We have to win against Iceland and that will give us calmness for the rest of the group matches. We will have three complicated matches, we should not be thinking beyond those three matches.
“Sometimes in football and at the World Cup logic doesn’t win and there are surprises.”
Argentina are two time champions of the competition and will be hoping for their third in Russia having last lifted the trophy in 1986.
They were close to lifting the last edition’s title but were edged out by Germany with Mario Gotze’s extra time goal powering Germany to triumph in Brazil in 2014.
Lionel Messi is still in search of his first major title with his country’s senior national team after winning almost everything at the age grade level for them – including the Olympic gold medal.
Also included in coach Paolo Sampaoli's team for the championship kicking off next month is Juventus attacker Paulo Dybala.
Manchester City striker, Sergio Kun Aguero, Paris Saint Germain winger Angel Di Maria, Manchester United defender Marcos Rojo also made the cut as the south American team will be hoping to go beyond their last outing in Brazil, where they lost 1-0 to Germany in the final.
Meanwhile, Inter Milan's captain, Mauro Icardi was conspicuously missing in the team despite having an impressive season with his Italian Serie A side.
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