Buenos Aires, May 29 (IANS) The captain of the Argentine national football team, Lionel Messi, said despite the “faith” he has in his squad, they must go into the Russia World Cup with a “calm” attitude and not take victory for granted because he doesn’t feel that they are “the best” in the tourney this time around.
“We have players with a lot of ability, with a lot of experience, but we have to go calmly. Also, we can’t send the message that we’re going to emerge world champions because we’re the best, because in reality it’s not like that,” Messi admitted during a television interview, reports Efe.
Messi said that it’s more important “to go game by game” and focus on winning their first encounter with Iceland on June 16.
Although a few years ago, “nobody expected” that Iceland would be a dangerous rival, Messi acknowledged that now the team is able to “mess up anyone,” as it showed during the last European Cup and during the island squad’s qualification matches when they emerged tied with Croatia for leadership in their group.
“It’s really important to start out winning because of the calmness it would give you afterwards to face the other teams, because it’s not an easy group,” said Messi.
He said that Argentina will have to go into the later matches – against Croatia on June 21 and Nigeria on the 26th – with the same attitude.
“Being sincere and fair about it, there are many teams, or not many but some, who are better than us. We have to be realistic and, with a humble attitude, we’re going to go out seeking that dream” of winning the title, he said.