Despite worries about an ankle problem, LIONEL MESSI is determined to enjoy his final World Cup match with a grin on his face.
After confessing that he missed out on too much pleasure throughout his illustrious career, Argentina’s famous captain will make damn sure that his youthful teammates do the same.
Messi, 35, captains the South Americans against Saudi Arabia tomorrow in his fifth and last game at the world’s biggest football tournament.
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Although he was photographed in training with what seemed to be a swollen ankle, the forward laughed it off and said he was still in shape.
Ledger: Messi “I’m in excellent physical shape. I believe my arrival is a terrific one, both physically and personally. I don’t experience any issues.”
The Argentine star also stressed that having fun goes hand in hand with success to the 18 players of his team who were making their debuts.
Despite winning four Champions Leagues, seven Spanish championships, seven Ballon d’Or awards, and the Copa America with his nation, the World Cup has escaped him.
I’m not sure if this is the best or happiest time in my career, but I feel a little more mature now that I’m trying to do my best and have fun, tiny Leo stated. and depart with great vigor.
“I’m making an effort to take in every World Cup moment. I believe my enjoyment has increased significantly. Perhaps earlier, I didn’t consider that and just wanted to play, play, play.
“Playing every three days makes it difficult to relax since you are constantly planning your next move.
I occasionally feel as though I missed a lot in my career.
Due to his hectic schedule, the multi-millionaire South American missed filing his tax returns on time, which resulted in a significant penalties.
His first game audience was amazing, and he continues to be a huge draw on the big stage.
The press conference room was full of feverish Latin American journalists who cheered him off like a pack of adoring cheerleaders.
That is the power of personality, and given how many rookies are in manager Loinel Scaloni’s team, Messi will occupy an even loftier position as the always-daunting South Americans attempt to win a third World Cup.
They have a strong record under former West Ham defender Scaloni, who has led them to 36 unbeaten games and a decisive 3-0 victory over Italy in the summer’s “finalissima” at Wembley.
In 2014, Messi came within a goal of winning the championship when Argentina lost to Germany in a strange extra-time goal.
For the only player on earth who can cast Cristiano Ronaldo in shadows, it is not now or never.
“This is most certainly my final World Cup,” remarked Messi. One more opportunity to realize my ambition.
I’m in good physical shape. With the event taking place in the middle of the season, we are in a different era. But I’m in good physical shape.
“This squad really reminds me of the one from 2014. We stand as one. As a group, we are content.
“With so little time to prepare, we have to play right away. Before the first game, there will be stress and high emotions, then we’ll settle in and pick up the tempo.
Herve Renard, a French coach, and his Saudi fighters, who are aware of their difficulties, will take on Argentina, which is in fine form.
This tournament has already been brutal on Arabic teams, with hosts Qatar and Iran losing their opening matches. Renard is unfazed, though.
We’re not only in Doha to admire the scenery, he declared. Even if some disagree with us, Qatar is a beautiful country that we know very well.
“We’ll have a lot of supporters here, and we want to honor them. We are not visiting for fun.