Argentine football star Lionel Messi aims to win and raise the 2018 FIFA World Cup trophy in Moscow this summer as it may be his last chance to win the much-anticipated global football championship, football news website Goal.com reported on Monday.
“I imagine being able to be in that game, to win it, to be able to raise the cup,” Goal.com quoted Messi as saying about his team’s extra time defeat to Germany at the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.
“It’s the dream I have always had and every time a World Cup comes it gets even stronger.”
Messi won numerous titles on the global, continental and domestic levels with his Barcelona FC, but playing for his national team was an inch apart for him from winning international championships.
Reaching three finals in a row, namely the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil and two editions of the Copa America (in 2015 and 2016), Argentina was left with the second-place result in all of these matches.
“I cried many times because of games like these, for lost finals, for what they mean and for not being able to achieve the dream of a country,” Messi said.
“They (the three finals) were tough blows.” Messi, who was named the world’s best footballer of the year on five occasions receiving the Ballon d’Or award, is turning 31 this June.
His celebrated teammates Sergio Aguero, Gonzalo Higuain, Angel Di Maria, Nicolas Otamendi and Javier Mascherano will be also over 30 years old, when the 2018 FIFA World Cup kicks off in Russia.
“We depend on the results, unfortunately,” he said. “We feel that if we are not champions … we will not have another.”
“I want to tell people that I hope it’s a great World Cup for us, that my wish is the same as all of you and that we can live something similar to 2014, which was an unforgettable experience, and that the result is similar but this time raising the cup is everyone’s dream,” the football star from Argentina added.
On December 1, 2017, the State Kremlin Palace in Moscow hosted the Final Draw for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, which determined the group breakdown for the FIFA flagship event this year.
A total of 32 national football squads were divided into eight groups with four teams in each. Team Argentina was placed in Group D alongside with the national teams from Iceland, Croatia and Nigeria.
Russia selected 11 host cities to be the venues for the matches of the 2018 World Cup and they are Moscow, St. Petersburg, Sochi, Kazan, Saransk, Kaliningrad, Volgograd, Rostov-on-Don, Nizhny Novgorod, Yekaterinburg and Samara.
The matches of the 2018 World Cup will be held between June 14 and July 15 at 12 stadiums located in the 11 mentioned above cities across Russia. Two of the stadiums are located in the Russian capital.