This World Cup is last chance at glory: Messi
Barcelona: Argentina star forward Lionel Messi believes this is his generation’s last chance to win a World Cup after failing in the final against Germany four years ago.
Messi, Sergio Aguero, Gonzalo Higuain, Angel Di Maria, Nicolas Otamendi and Javier Mascherano will all be 30 or over when the World Cup in Russia kicks off.
The five-time Ballon d’Or winner Messi, who turns 31 in June, on Sunday told Argentine television programme “La Cornisa” that results have to come their way no matter how well they play, otherwise he and his international colleagues will run out of time to etch their names in history books.
“We depend on the results, unfortunately,” Messi said. “We feel that if we are not champions … we will not have another.”
Bidding for a third World Cup title and their first since 1986, the Jorge Sampaoli-coached Argentina have been drawn in the same group as Iceland, Croatia and Nigeria.
“I imagine being in that final (in Moscow on July 15) and lifting the trophy,” said Messi, who added that the team’s defeat to Germany in extra-time of the 2014 edition in Brazil still evokes pain.
“It (World Cup glory) is a lifelong dream and every time that a World Cup approaches the dream becomes a little stronger. The 2014 final was painful because we came so close. Winning a World Cup is what we all want,” Messi added.
Messi also talked about the heartbreaks Argentina suffered in three consecutive major international finals: the 2014 World Cup and the 2015 and 2016 editions of the Copa America.
“I cried many times because of games like these, for lost finals, for what they mean and for not being able to achieve the dream of a country,” Messi said.
Despite his glut of titles with FC Barcelona, Messi has still not won any major silverware with his national team.
“They (the three finals) were tough blows,” Messi said. “It seems like having reached three finals doesn’t help us at all,” he added.
He added: “The World Cup is getting closer and my head is there, but here (in Barcelona) I also have important things.
“It’s amazing, people are telling me they want us to win, but I try to live day to day and not burn stages. What makes me forget everything is to be with my children, my wife, my family. The rest is secondary. The birth of my first son made me not close myself in to football. I don’t like to lose … but you can’t always win,” he added.