'We go to Russian Federation with hope' - Messi treble fires Argentina to win

Lionel Messi could be headed stateside for a friendly against the United States in October. More

"Against Iceland we will have to take advantage of the domain, we need a high level of force in the World Cup".

"The other teams don't think, '(Gonzalo) Higuain is being criticised in Argentina".

Argentina now fly to Barcelona to prepare for World Cup group matches against Iceland on 16 June, Croatia on 21 June and Nigeria on 26 June. "The other day I was talking to a friend and he told me "if you had chosen Spain, you'd be a World Cup victor already", but it wouldn't have been the same", added Messi.

The Barcelona forward fired a penalty into the back of the net to open the scoring after 17 minutes, before taking his second 12 minutes into the second half.

Messi in action for Argentina.

"We have a really complicated draw", Messi added.

"I am very grateful to all the people, we always felt the affection of all, not like other times that we received insults", he said via Goal.

The 6-1 loss to Spain in a friendly in March, however, revealed how far he is from achieving that objective, yet coming short of reach the semifinals would be a failure.

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"We can't be thinking about becoming World Cup champions, but about arriving as a group in the best way and generating trust that we lack today because of the situations that we have experienced", he said.

"We're not candidates [to win it] but we're doing well. We can not send the message that we are the best, because that's not true", he said.

"We have good players and we are getting stronger to fight as an equal with anyone". We can go toe-to-toe with any team.

The countries have met four times in the World Cup and Argentina have won by one goal every time.

"No one should doubt that we're going to give our all, as our supporters demand".

"We are going to Russian Federation with all the enthusiasm. We are facing a handsome possibility and we are looking for that".

Messi's former Barcelona team-mate Javier Mascherano has also called on the team to band together after recent disappointments ahead of Argentina's penultimate friendly against Haiti today (tomorrow, Singapore time).

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