Lionel Messi thanks Argentina fans for support despite Spain thrashing

Lionel Messi thanks Argentina fans for support despite Spain thrashing

Argentina have won their previous four encounters at the tournament.

Northern Ireland were unable to spoil Panama's World Cup send-off party as the hosts drew with another home nation ahead of facing England in Russian Federation next month.

Dybala, 24, is widely considered as one of the most talented attackers in Europe at the moment but his involvement in the Argentina national team was in doubt due to the alleged incompatibility with captain Lionel Messi.

The 30-year-old spent time with the Rosario-based club before moving to Barcelona as a teenager and coming through the club's "C" and "B" teams on his road to stardom.

Nigeria, Messi said, are "always tough for us".

A makeshift and inexperienced Scotland side were beaten but not disgraced in their 2-0 loss to World Cup-bound Peru at the frenzied Estadio Nacional in Lima.

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We've got to do a little bit better and it would be nice if they would help out a little bit, but it seems like they're not. That just means James Harden will have to heighten his game to a level he's never reached especially on a stage like this.

"The other day I was talking to a friend and he told me "if you had chosen Spain, you'd be a World Cup victor already", but it wouldn't have been the same", he added. It's not an easy group.

"We have the players and we are fighting hard".

Speaking in an interview with Argentine TV program Pasion por el Futbol, the Barcelona genius said, "I am more and more clear that, in Europe, Barcelona is going to be my only home".

It was in stark contrast to recent matches played in Argentina, when Messi and his teammates were insulted as they laboured through qualifying, eventually booking their place in Russian Federation in their final match. Argentina play Haiti on Tuesday in Buenos Aires and Israel on June 9 in Jerusalem in their two warm up games. "We had a complicated time in the qualifiers, but we are training well".

According to the Federation Internationale de Football Association world rankings, Argentina is fifth, Croatia is 18th, Iceland is 22nd and Nigeria 47th.

A World Cup throws up results you don't imagine.

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