Messi plans to return for Argentina in Spain friendly

Image PA

Image PA

In it, the former Sevilla coach describes the honour of coaching Messi, "the best player in history", and the pressures he and the Argentina captain both face in this summer's World Cup.

He has written in a book due to be released in April, from which "Viva", Clarin's Sunday magazine has been running snippets: "Messi has a revolver put to his head called the World Cup and if he doesn't win it, he's shot and killed". We have to maintain this line and hope to arrive in the best form possible at the World Cup. To be so close and not being able to lift the trophy on previous occasions was a disappointment for all of us.

"At Juventus he plays just like me, we look for the same spaces". We always give our all, we reached three finals. Now's the moment when we have to get down to hard work so that we are ready when our objectives come along.

"We feel that it's now or never".

"There isn't another, you have to think about this World Cup as the last and try to take advantage of the chance".

The five-time Ballon d'Or victor has been in typically sublime form for Barcelona this season and he dragged a ragged Argentina to qualification for Russian Federation 2018 by scoring a sensational hat-trick away to Ecuador last October. I remember the chance to score that I had, it was very bad how I shot the ball, the way I positioned my foot. "But this year, we are not favourites", Messi added.

"It's the official ball of the World Cup, and everyone is kicking and screaming about it, but it is what it is", Lopetegui said.

Spain's head coach Julen Lopetegui (centre) leads a training session of the Spanish national team at Wanda Metropolitano stadium in Madrid. "And he's right", Messi said.

They've got about five/six top players for every position, with midfield options particularly tasty. So he had to move to the left and he's not used to playing there.

"When we're preparing for a game we're not thinking about what's in front of us", Lopetegui said.

"He told me, "If you do not play, you can not come".

"I really understood what he meant so there was nothing that needed further clarification".

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