Messi wants Higuain for Argentina

Javier Mascherano

Lionel Messi has defended Gonzalo Higuain, claiming the Juventus striker is one of the best in the world and deserves to be in the Argentina squad.

Having been drawn alongside Iceland, Nigeria and Croatia in Group D of the 2018 World Cup in Russia, Messi admits says Argentina must improve on their game if they are to challenge for the World Cup title in Russia.

"Criticism does hurt him and we've talked about this many times".

"It is very ugly to see the things that happen in Argentina, that you can go out on the street and people want to rob you and that they can kill you".

His previous deal was due to expire in the summer, meaning he would have been free to speak to potential suitors in the new year. It would seem like potentially the ideal time to return to Argentina and finish his career at Newell's, but clearly he has concerns.

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Argentina captain, Lionel Messi, has sensationally declared that he and his Argentina teammates will "have to disappear" if they fail to take their last chance of winning the 2018 World Cup in Russian Federation.

"Today we are some distance from being champions, but there is time for us to prepare". We are the first ones to want to win with the national team. The bitterness we feel is because we know what awaits us if we do badly.

"If he wanted to leave then he wouldn't have signed that new contract".

It'll be hard for some to stay on, ' he told TyC Sports.

The Argentine felt that bitterness has led to a certain kind of burden that is not easy to deal with and said: "If Argentina don't do well in this World Cup, we will all have to disappear from the national team".