national soccer team training - World Cup 2018 Qualifiers - Buenos Aires, Argentina - August 28, 2017 - Argentina's Lionel Messi takes part in a training session ahead of the match against Uruguay alongside team mate Mauro Icardi and head coach Jorge Sampaoli.

Messi will turn 31 during the competition.

However, the argument many throw back at that claim is the Barcelona superstar is yet to lift the World Cup with Argentina.

Argentina are not among the favourites, but with Messi there is always a chance and Sampaoli is well aware of that. And on Monday, he added: "We have to understand him. There are much better teams like Spain, Germany, Brazil and France", Messi admitted.


The Barcelona forward missed Friday's 2-0 win for the Albiceleste over Italy in Manchester after feeling discomfort in his hamstring and right adductor, but was expected to feature against La Roja in Madrid.

Nevertheless, the occasionally feisty nature of their Clasico showdowns does not give Sampaoli any cause for concern over Messi's fitness.

"If there was any risk (in his condition), Leo would have said". The eve of the match against Italy he indicated that he was not in a state to play.

"He was tested yesterday and tried again today. I don't think there will be a problem tomorrow (Tuesday)".

While Messi will be at the heart of Argentina's bid for World Cup glory, Sampaoli admits he is not going to try teaching the attacker anything.


"That is great to see, to play with such a good footballer who has that ability".

"He can generate a lot of stuff.it's impossible to teach something to Messi". "We are in a position where he is untouchable".

Even without Messi's injured Barca teammate Sergio Busquets, Spain produced another impressive display of controlled football when they drew 1-1 away to Germany on Friday night.

"Right now we're not among the contenders to win the World Cup".

"It's more hard for us to play there, I don't often go out to the left".


'Alongside me in the national team he had to play more on the left, maybe he's not so used to that.

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