Messi names 5 favorites for the 2018 World Cup finals

Lionel Messi admits Argentina is not one of the favorites to win the 2018 World Cup, yet, he says his dream of kissing the World Cup trophy is achievable only if five countries are eliminated from the global tournament.

Image: Lionel Messi

Speaking ahead of the football competition which kicks off on 14 July in Russia, Messi said the 2018 World Cup will be an open competition with up to six countries fighting for the coveted prize – including Argentina.

Argentina suffered a painful loss against Germany at the World Cup finals in 2014. So far, Messi and his teammates have lost three Copa America Finals but are ready to fight for their pride.

However, considering the quality of footballers and their motivation under Messi’s leadership, football pundits believe Argentina is one of the tournament’s favourites though the South American country is yet to win at the global stage since their 1993 Copa America victory.

“There are various teams going in to the tournament with confidence,” Messi told newsmen on Saturday night, when they arrived Russia ahead of their first match coming up a week later.

“These countries play good football and have quality individual players,” the famous No. 10 continued. “I have phobia for teams like Brazil, Germany, Spain, France and Belgium, even though the latter is not mentioned very much.

“Argentina has quality, too. We have a bunch of experienced footballers who played at the World Cup in Rio, Brazil last summer…The prospects look good. It will definitely be an even competition.”