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Lionel Messi: I’d give up Barcelona title for World Cup glory

Coming off a La Liga and Copa del Rey double, Barcelona star Lionel Messi is desperate to taste success with Argentina at the World Cup.

football Updated: May 28, 2018 11:15 IST
Lionel Messi,FC Barcelona,La Liga
Lionel Messi will be the Argentina captain at the 2018 FIFA World Cup.(REUTERS)

Argentina captain Lionel Messi said he would swap a Barcelona title for a trophy with the national team ahead of the World Cup in Russia.

Messi has enjoyed a trophy-laden career at Barca, however, the five-time Ballon d’Or winner is still searching for his first major senior title with Argentina.

The 30-year-old was involved as Argentina lost the 2014 World Cup final in Brazil, while Messi could not prevent back-to-back defeats in the 2015 and 2016 Copa America deciders.

Coming off a LaLiga and Copa del Rey double, which took his trophy tally to 32 at Camp Nou, Messi is desperate to taste success with Jorge Sampaoli’s men.

“I would change a Barcelona title for one with the national team,” Messi told Argentinean TV channel El Trece.

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“Winning a title with Argentina would be something unique.”

Argentina will face Iceland (June 16), Croatia (June 21) and Nigeria (June 26) in Group D at the World Cup, starting next month.

The two-time world champions – who last won the showpiece event in 1986 – scraped into the tournament thanks to Messi’s magic.

And Messi conceded Argentina are below the likes of Brazil, Spain and reigning champions Germany.

“I have great faith in this group, we are working very well, we have players with a lot of capacity and experience,” he said.

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“But we do not have to throw the message of ‘we are going to be the world champion because we are the best’, because the reality is that it is not like that.”

On Group D, Messi added: “Iceland are a team that showed in the last European Championship that they are difficult for anyone.

“Croatia have a midfield that plays very well, it is a style like Spain but one level below, and Nigeria always challenge us.”

First Published: May 28, 2018 11:12 IST