Lionel Messi carrying Argentina with 'a revolver put to his head'

Mohamed Salah-Ronaldo-injury

GETTY World Cup 2018 Mohamed Salah was injured in the Champions League final against Real Madrid

While Ronaldo stays in marvelous physical condition, which may allow him to play in a fifth World Cup at 37, he has already lost one step on the field and is sure to lose more.

Despite being the second most populous nation, 1.25-billion-strong India has long struggled in world football and is now ranked 97 in Fifa's rankings.

"This is going to be bigger than the Euros but I think we will know more what's going to happen now that we didn't know in France".

"You wouldn't expect Messi to have said that", Arnason said.

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Messi has been to three major finals with Argentina, losing all three.

Players, coaches and team strategists also have the luxury these days of studying an opponent's style of play to plot strategies on how to nullify strengths and exploit weaknesses through technology and training methods and nutrition have also improved beyond the wildest imaginations of players and sports administrators of old.

"The likes of Dybala and Gonzalo Higuain will also have to step up".

It was symptomatic of the chaos that has followed Argentina on the rockiest of roads to Russian Federation that their final World Cup warm-up match, against Israel, was cancelled amid reported threats to Lionel Messi's life. In the first game in the Euros we played Ronaldo and now it's Messi. Can Messi's Argentina or Ronaldo's Portugal finally be crowned world champions?

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It is odd but Sampaoli has actually had much more success devising a way of stifling Messi's talent than liberating it. And yet his relationship with his country remains complex.

What is irrefutable is the adoration with which he is held among the squad.

Let's say for argumentative purposes that Spain had succeeded in convincing Messi to give his allegiance to the Spanish national team in 2003 (Since Messi carries dual citizenship between Spain and Argentina, he could have very well chosen which country to play for, yet ultimately chose to stick to his birth country of Argentina).

The Albiceleste have defeated the West Africans in all their previous meetings at the tournament but in November they went down 4-2 to Gernot Rohr's side in a friendly tie.

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Opposition Leader Bill Shorten agreed the summit was a positive step forward, "even if some of the images were certainly unusual". Moon said that he expects the Trump-Kim talks to "become a historic milestone on the path toward peace away from war".

Of course, all eyes will be on superstar Lionel Messi as he is expected to lead once again (and probably for the last time as a player) his countrymen towards winning the FIFA World Cup.

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