Argentina hoping it's Messi's year at World Cup

Lionel Messi

The 30-year old will be leading Jorge Sampaoli-managed Argentina in World Cup 2018, and while Messi could have represented Spain in his career, he explained why he didn't ever consider that possibility.

However, both men failed to shine and instead it was Aguero and Boca Juniors' Christian Pavon who staked their claim for a World Cup place when they came on after an hour.

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

Messi is also glad he made a decision to play for Argentina, rather than Spain, in his global career even though he would nearly certainly be a World Cup and dual European Championship victor if he had chosen differently.

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Asked if Argentina could win the World Cup, Messi swerved between hope and realism.

"We are not candidates", Lionel Messi said.

"I've always said that I want to play someday in Argentina".

"I would change a Barcelona title for the national team".

Messi moved to Barcelona at the age of 13 and would have been eligible to play for Spain.

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In Russia, Argentina will face Iceland, Nigeria and Croatia in what he called "a complicated group".

"I know it would be special for what it means, to be (world) champions with Argentina would be different to everything, it would be something unique".

Arsenal's official website quoted Wenger saying, 'The story of Cesc Fabregas is that Franny Cagiago and Steve Rowley brought the player here and we had to convince him. It won't be easy, but we have the best player in the history of football and we'll do everything possible to achieve it.

"A friend of mine told me that I'd now be a world champion already if I'd played for Spain, but it wouldn't have been the same", he said. It's important to start off with a win to build confidence.

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