Messi: "I want to avoid Spain in the World Cup group stage"

Lionel Messi wants his Argentina side to dodge La Roja for the World Cup draw on December 1 which is in Pot 2. “I would prefer to avoid Spain in the group stage because they are a very difficult opponent”, he said.

“When they talk about Messi’s friends I laugh,” he remarked. “They say that I put coaches or players in the Argentina side and it is a lie.”

“[Javier] Mascherano, [Angel] Di Maria, [Lucas] Biglia are big names in world football, these claims show a lack of respect. That’s not how I am and I’ve nothing else to add on the matter.”

“We could not miss the World Cup, but we did suffer. Each time I went back to Barcelona, I was always going over the numbers for what had to happen for us to qualify for the World Cup.”