Messi: They say that I put coaches or players in the Argentina side and it’s a lie

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Despite having struggled to reach the 2018 tournament, the Argentines are in Pot 1 thanks to Messi’s heroics in Ecuador on the last matchday of qualification.

“I would prefer to avoid Spain in the group stage because they are a very difficult opponent,” he told reporters.

Speculation over the forward’s future has been higher than usual given the protracted nature of his contract renewal, with the Barcelona player admitting that he still dreams of playing club football back home.

“I still have to play for Newell’s Old Boys. The desire to play in Argentine football will always remain,” said Messi.

Friendlies with Russia and Nigeria await La Albiceleste in the upcoming international break and Messi has laughed off any suggestion that he is responsible for selecting his national team’s squad or coach.

“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.

“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.”

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