Lionel Messi, who led his country to a runners-up finish in the 2014 edition of the tournament, is expected to launch a final charge for the ultimate glory later this year.
The Paris Saint-Germain star will aim to end Argentina’s 36-year World Cup drought after clinching two international trophies in the space of 12 months.
Speaking to La Nacion, Batisuta claimed that the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner will shine in the upcoming FIFA World Cup due to the presence of a well-balanced La Albiceleste team. He said:
“If th Argentina players can’t give it to Messi, they’re going to give it to him later, because he isn’t stupid either. Do you know what it must be like to feel that others expect you to do everything? What if we all do it together? It sounds different. And it feels different. Messi is not stupid, if you play at that level, you are not an idiot.”
“Go and ask him if he prefers to play in [Pep] Guardiola’s Barcelona, where he shared everything with great players, or play alone and score all the goals.
“That’s why in this [Argentina] selection you must be happy seeing the personality of all the kids, I love them. Lionel Messi is going to play well this World Cup, and not because he could be the last, because he sure wanted to win the previous ones, but now he has a good team.”
When asked about his favorites to lift the prestigious trophy in December this year, the former Fiorentina and Roma striker said:
“There are many. In Spain, they say that this year they cannot escape… and Belgium, and there is England, and Germany is Germany, and we still haven’t named France. And nobody talks about Portugal; wait a bit and you will see Portugal. But also, Argentina arrives at a spectacular moment.”
Argentina have been drawn in Group C alongside Poland, Mexico and Saudi Arabia. The first-ever winter FIFA World Cup is set to kick off on November 21, with the final scheduled for December 18.
Lionel Messi priming up perfectly for FIFA World Cup
After netting just 11 goals across competitions in his debut season with PSG, Lionel Messi has relished a brilliant start to the 2022-23 campaign. He has so far registered three goals and an assist in three matches in all competitions for the Parisians.
He helped PSG win the Trophee des Champions with a goal against Nantes last month. The diminutive Argentine followed it up with a brace, including an overhead kick, in a 5-0 triumph over Clermont Foot in PSG’s Ligue 1 opener.