Former Argentina Striker: Only These Fans Want To See Messi Miss The WC
Former Argentina Striker: Only These Fans Want To See Lionel Messi Miss The 2018 FIFA World Cup
A former Argentina striker believes there is only one specific set of fans who want to see FC Barcelona star Lionel Messi miss the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
Mario Kempes, who won the prestigious trophy in 1978, believes it would be a disaster not to see La Albiceleste in Russia next year, and feels that it is only Diego Maradona supporters who do not want to see the five-time Ballon d'Or winner there.
"A World Cup without Argentina and Messi would be a catastrophe," Kempes told Super Deportivo Radio de Santa Fe.
"The only ones who would be happy if Messi doesn't go to the World Cup would be Maradona fans because, that way, they can keep saying that he's the best."
Kempes also dismissed the idea that Argentina's current squad is struggling mentally.
"I don't understand it when it's said that the problem is psychological," he added.
"If you told me they're boys who don't have experience and who had been called up for the first time, who find themselves in front of full stands, I could believe that the problem is psychological, that they're scared.
"But in this situation, there is no psychological problem.
"There are 90 minutes for Sampaoli to show that he's the real saviour because everyone said he was the saviour for Argentina."
Jorge Sampaoli's side are sixth in the South American qualification standings, but a win over Ecuador on Wednesday would be enough to see them secure a playoff match against New Zealand.
Do you think Argentina can still qualify for the 2018 World Cup? Have your say in the comments section below.