Lionel Messi has stated that France and Spain are amongst the favourites to win the FIFA World Cup.
Spain did struggle to reach the knockout stages of the World Cup, but France are already in the quarter-finals after they beat Poland yesterday. Argentina came across a tough challenge from Australia but they too managed to make it through, thanks to some brilliance from Messi.
In an interview with La Repubblica recently, Messi spoke about Argentina’s chances to win the World Cup and the favourites for the tournament.
He said: “Obviously we watch all the games too, as much as we can between training sessions. Let’s try to enjoy the World Cup like everyone else. Brazil is a very strong team: the defeat against Cameroon must not deceive, they are a great favourite. Then I see France and I really like Spain. Regardless of how they progressed to the round of 16, they play very well, they have clear ideas. They knows how to handle the ball, keep it and know how to keep an eye on the position of the opponents most of the time ”
Messi also spoke about Argentina’s chances, saying: “Argentina is a powerhouse in football, it always has been. We knew coming here that we were one of the favourites. We just had to prove it in Qatar. And we are doing it, step by step. Muy hermoso (very beautiful), even if we have spent a lot of energy and have little time to recover. The descanso – the rest, will be fundamental.”
Argentina boss Lionel Scaloni had also spoken about the limited amount of rest that players are getting during the tournament and how it may be hampering their performances. Argentina played their last group stage game and the Round of 16 game in a week.
The win over Australia has made sure that they will take on the Netherlands, who beat USA in the previous round.