Lionel Messi says it's 'now or never' for Argentina at FIFA World Cup

By @saihoops on
Lionel Messi, 2018 FIFA World Cup, 2018 Russia, World Cup
Soccer Football - La Liga Santander - FC Barcelona vs Athletic Bilbao - Camp Nou, Barcelona, Spain - March 18, 2018 Barcelona’s Lionel Messi celebrates scoring their second goal Reuters / Albert Gea

Lionel Messi has enjoyed a ton of success for Barcelona at the club level. But Messi, widely regarded as the best of his generation, has realised that he needs to win a FIFA World Cup for Argentina to truly count as one of the all-time greats.  

A few months ahead of the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, Messi told his Albiceleste teammates that they need to embrace a "now or never" attitude entering soccer's showpiece event.

"It was tough because we weren't able to lift it (the World Cup trophy in 2014). Passing next to the World Cup trophy was horrible. We want to get rid of the bad taste and win the World Cup. To be so close and not being able to lift the trophy on previous occasions was a disappointment for all of us. We have a debt with ourselves (the players). We don't owe the fans anything because we always give our 100 percent. We've gotten to three finals. We feel that it's now or never. Because this is it, we have to think that this could be the last for this group of players," Messi told Fox Sports Argentina ahead of Tuesday's friendly fixture against Spain.

Messi, five-time Ballon d'Or winner, revealed that he still gets nightmares about the 2014 World Cup final loss to Germany. "I didn't re-watch the final against Germany ... I remember the chance to score that I had, it was awful how I shot the ball, the way I positioned my foot ... If I would hit that ball in some other way, maybe like I did against Chelsea the other day from a similar position."