16 Winners (1978, 1986)
Jorge Sampaoli (left)
Lionel Messi. The Barcelona man is still an extraordinary force – as he proved by winning La Liga last season and getting Argentina to Russia with crucial goals in qualifying. The trouble is that when he doesn’t play well, which has been the case in the previous three tournaments, the team struggle. The pressure on their superstar is immense. Quarter-Finals Argentina reached the final four years ago – the first time they have progressed beyond the Quarter-Finals since
1990. Five-time Ballon d’Or winner Messi is one of the all-time greats and this could be his last chance to seal that reputation with a World Cup winners’ medal. Don’t bet on it, though.