Argentina pressure on Messi has increased, claims Zanetti

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Messi's admirers, however, say he can't be blamed for the failings of Argentina's (notoriously chaotic) football federation and remain firm that he is the epitome of the ideal footballer.

"So far, we see him very focused, working alongside the team, giving the examples as the top ones, which is what he is", said Guzman. Messi also won best player for the Cup, but it's a new cup, and a new year for Ronaldo and Portugal.

The usual suspects of Germany, Brazil, Argentina, France and Spain have their eyes fixed on the trophy.

Argentina's World Cup squad has some of the best players on the planet, but they'll be at a disadvantage in one area in their Group D opener against Iceland: height.

Icelandic footballers are the tallest at the World Cup in Russian Federation, with an average height of 1.85 meters (over 6 feet), making them especially strong in aerial duels in defense and attack.

"I'd rather have him on my team than against me".

The former Sevilla boss jumped in during the qualification phase to replace Edgardo Bauza in order to realign their World Cup ambitions. Let us know in the comments section below. Oh, he's also the all-time leading goal scorer in Argentina history.

Useless stat to churn out to give a semblance of expertise: Since their first appearance in 1994, no African team has taken part in as many World Cups as Nigeria (6 - 1994, 1998, 2002, 2010, 2014 and 2018). Do you prefer the great dribbler, creator and goalscorer extraordinaire, Lionel Messi, or the relentless, physical specimen and goalscoring phenomenon that is Cristiano Ronaldo? He does things that shouldn't be possible, all while making it look like the easiest thing in the world.

Goncalo Guedes, 21, who played up front alongside Ronaldo in their last friendly, a 3-0 win over Algeria, was magnificent for Valencia last season. In the first game in the Euros we played Ronaldo and now it's Messi.

"We were waiting for Leo", a video clip posted to YouTube by the Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires mourned, referring to the legendary forward Lionel Messi, nicknamed Leo.

For Messi, a World Cup victory would put to rest almost every question about his legacy.