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Lionel Messi demands Argentina improvement ahead of 2018 World Cup

Lionel Messi demands Argentina improvement ahead of 2018 World Cup

"It's going to be very hard for anyone to continue because we have already been here for a number of years".

Argentina, who reached the final in 2014, struggled during qualification for Russian Federation, going through three coaches before securing their place at the tournament.

Messi was named on the bench for their final two group games against Juventus and Sporting Lisbon.

Having been drawn with Nigeria, Iceland and Croatia in Group D in next year's tournament, the five-time Ballon d'Or victor expressed worries about the threat posed by the Super Eagles to his country's chances of reaching the second round.

"Because we have been in the national team for many year, we have played several Copa America, previous World Cup. What I have are memories", he said.

"We have to improve if we aspire to be world champions", said Messi.

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"Today we are some distance from being champions, but there is time for us to prepare".

"I'd have to watch them again to see what we didn't get right to not win them".

Higuain was a starter for Argentina in the 2014 Soccer World Cup final against Germany in Brazil and in the finals of the Copa America in 2015 and 2016.

"For me, he is one of the best number nines in the world".

The 33-year-old's time at Barca could also be coming to an end, after a lack of appearances this season sparked talk of a possible move away from the Nou Camp.

In October, Maradona backed Higuain to force his way back into the team while Batistuta said the former Real Madrid striker had unfairly been made a scapegoat for Argentina's recent disappointments in major tournaments. I think this period off worldwide duty was good for him, though, as he has been able to focus on training and improving his fitness levels.


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