Don't debate Messi-Ronaldo-enjoy their potential WC farewell

Germany is Germany’ Mourinho tips four-time World Cup winners to reach semi-finals in Russia

Germany is Germany’ Mourinho tips four-time World Cup winners to reach semi-finals in Russia

Lineker clearly feels that Messi - if he's on his A game - could propel Argentina to something special this summer, but he could be let down by the team around him.

Argentina kick off their World Cup campaign with a group match against Iceland on Saturday (2pm).

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

The stakes are huge, not least for a player whose candidature as the greatest of all time hinges, for some, on what happens over the coming weeks.

Four years ago in Brazil, Argentina held off another World Cup newcomer from Europe, Bosnia and Herzegovina, with Messi's second-half goal decisive in a 2-1 win. "We'll have to know how to deal with the anxiety".

Let's say for argumentative purposes that Spain had succeeded in convincing Messi to give his allegiance to the Spanish national team in 2003 (Since Messi carries dual citizenship between Spain and Argentina, he could have very well chosen which country to play for, yet ultimately made a decision to stick to his birth country of Argentina).

Or will France, England, Spain or Belgium come away with the cup? He really makes the team play around him.

Useless stat to churn out to give a semblance of expertise: No player scored more goals during European World Cup qualifying without providing an assist than Croatia's Mario Mandzukic. But I also like their bodies.

"Our challenge is to be champions", said the Barcelona superstar.

I also think Suarez will be hungry to make a big impression after what happened in the last World Cup and a lower-profile season with Barcelona, while he also takes penalties, so he gets my backing. He does things that shouldn't be possible, all while making it look like the easiest thing in the world.

That is a decidedly different take from Ronaldo, who has proclaimed himself to be the greatest player in the history of the game, and who may not like his new coach appearing to favor his rival.

It had been claimed earlier in the week that Lopetegui believes Lionel Messi is the best player on the planet.

Ronaldo, along with Lionel Messi, Neymar Jr, and others is one of the star attractions of the upcoming FIFA World Cup 2018.

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