Maradona won the World Cup for Argentina in 1986. Will Lionel Messi win it for the team this time in Russia? Image: Twitter
As we move towards the 2018 FIFA World Cup, fans are busy piling unrealistic expectations on Barcelona FC legend Lionel Messi. Touting it as his last WC outing, people want him to win the third World Cup tournament for Argentina. It was previously won by the South American nation in 1978 and 1986.
But Argentina veteran and arguably one of the greatest footballers in the world, Diego Maradona wants Messi to take it easy and enjoy his game.
In an interview to Omnisport, the 1986 World Cup-winning team member said, “I would advise Messi to keep playing, to enjoy the game. He has to forget about the critics, if he can win the World Cup or not. He doesn’t have to demonstrate anything. He has to enjoy the game on the field. I don’t know Jorge Sampaoli, I don’t know how he plays. But, I know a lot of the players and I know they will give everything.”
Although he's hopeful of Argentina winning the World Cup, he didn’t tag the La Albiceleste as favourites. “And I think they have a good opportunity to win. But I don’t choose Argentina as a favourite because the favourite one never wins,” he added.
The tournament will be held in Russia, and Argentina will open their campaign against Iceland on June 16. Messi and his men will also face Nigeria and Croatia in the group stage.