After Argentina's terrible start to the World Cup, Barcelona forward Lionel Messi has declared he is ready to fight in order to advance in the tournament, as he does not want to retire without having won it.
Ahead of his country's vital clash with Nigeria, Messi opened up about his dream of winning the World Cup, and is quoted by The Mirror as saying: “It means so much because for Argentina the World Cup is special - and for me too.
“I’ve always had the dream of watching me raise the World Cup. And then seeing the emotion that goes with it.
“My hair stands on end just thinking about that moment. It would make millions of Argentines in the world happy. So we cannot give up on that dream. I have won all the most important tournaments but I am ambitious to the end. I would not like to retire from active football without being a world champion with my country.”
Despite Messi's passion, an early exit from the tournament is a real possibility for Argentina. His country are currently bottom of Group D, and need a victory over Nigeria to have any chance at qualifying for the next round.
Messi will be 34 years old by the time the 2022 tournament in Qatar comes around, meaning his chances of lifting the trophy are coming to an end. If he is to realize his dream this summer, Argentina will need to improve drastically.
Iceland will also be battling for their World Cup future against Croatia. Should Iceland beat Croatia by a bigger score than Argentina can manage against Nigeria, then Messi's World Cup dreams could be over.
Whilst Messi and Argentina have failed to impress, rival Cristiano Ronaldo has been excelling with Portugal in recent years. Some fans have began to question whether Messi's disappointment on the international stage is detrimental in his quest to become the greatest of all time.