Lopetegui, Sampaoli looking forward to Spain-Argentina friendly

28 March, 2018, 01:28 | Author: Elena Meyer
  • England can be wonderful or lose to anyone – Javier Clemente

Barcelona superstar and five-time Ballon d'Or victor Lionel Messi has admitted that is a case of "now or never" in his quest to win the World Cup as he begins to reach the latter stages of his career, but has acknowledged that Argentina are not among the favourites this summer.

Lionel Messi will miss Argentina's friendly with Spain tonight as the coaching staff decide not to risk their star player who has been suffering from a hamstring injury.

Wood's report cited Spanish outlet Diario Gol and also said Barcelona-11 points clear at La Liga's summit with nine matches remaining-have agreed to rest Messi in some La Liga games ahead of the World Cup.

Although fellow Argentine forward Paolo Dybala had previously claimed that Messi's dominance of the final third made it tough to play alongside him in the national team, the "Little Master" says the comment was not taken as an insult.

"We have not received a call from Barcelona", he added.

Sampaoli insisted he was not gambling over his captain's fitness by fielding Messi against Spain.

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"Before the game against Italy, Leo said he could not play".

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. Near misses in recent years have hurt and striker Sergio Aguero has said that it would be a failure if this great generation of players does not go on to lift a trophy together, thoughts echoed by many of his team-mates.

Dybala may not even be selected for Jorge Sampaoli's World Cup squad.

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

"I was left with the choice to play against Italy and didn't, but I trained normally, I felt good, so I hope to play". He told us before the last friendly.

He said: "My idea is to play against Spain, I just need to see how I feel after the last training session".

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