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St Petersburg (Russia): Star forward Lionel Messi deserves to win the 2018 FIFA World Cup, former Argentina striker Hernan Crespo said.

"We all want Messi to win the World Cup. He deserves it. But, to be realistic, Argentina team level is lower than Germany or Spain. Those two teams will be favourites of the tournament I suppose," Crespo told TASS news agency on Tuesday.

"Thanks to Messi we qualified to the World Cup. Without him our national team cannot achieve good result," he added.

The opening ceremony for the Football Park in St. Petersburg gathered about a hundred residents and tourists with children on Saturday, as well as Russia's former forward Dmitry Sychev, Russia's people's artist Vasily Gerello and Crespo who took part in the 1998, 2002 and 2006 world championships.

Russia selected 11 host cities to be the venues for the matches of the 2018 World Cup and they are Moscow, St. Petersburg, Sochi, Kazan, Saransk, Kaliningrad, Volgograd, Rostov-on-Don, Nizhny Novgorod, Yekaterinburg and Samara.

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