AR­GENTINA

Daily Star Sunday - - FRONT PAGE -

16 Win­ners (1978, 1986)

5

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.

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