Lionel Messi has dismissed worries around his readiness for Argentina’s World Cup opener against Saudi Arabia.
In a pre-match press conference, Messi insisted he feels ‘very good’ ahead of Argentina’s World Cup opener against the Arab nation.
The seven-time Ballon d’Or winner is hoping to complete his incredible list of accomplishments by winning the tournament, but he has been training alone as a precaution after struggling with an ankle issue.
Speculations on his fitness emerged following a picture online showing his swollen right ankle. This sparked concerns that he may not be fit for the opening game against Saudi Arabia.
Amidst the growing concern, Lionel Messi insisted he is good, ready, and fit to feature for the team in the opening game.
According to him he “feels very good physically and personally, and don’t have any problems.”
‘I feel very good physically. I think I’m arriving at a great moment, both personally and physically. I don’t have any problems”, he said.
According to reports, Lionel Messi had rejoined the rest of the team for training on Monday, but his ankle looked far from healthy just a day out from his side’s opening game.
The inflamed ankle means the Argentine playmaker may be at the throes of another injury concern, with Argentina set for a blockbuster opener against Saudi Arabia.
The severity of the problem was exaggerated because Lionel Messi does not have a ligament in his ankle, and many thought the swollen ankle must have dim his chances of featuring for the team.
At the pre-match press conference, Lionel Messi further emphasized that “it is more likely that this will be his last World Cup.”
He thanked fans from all over the world for their love and support, saying he recognized that most football fans want Argentina to win the World Cup not just for the country but for his epic career.
Meanwhile, Lionel Messi was greeted with a heroic welcome during the pre-match conference, with the assembled crowd chanting “Vamous Leo” before the interview.
Lionel Messi is likely on his last World Cup dance with the Argentina national team, and the expectation is high on the PSG star.
After leading the team to Copa America victory in 2021, Messi is expected to lead Argentina to World Cup glory in Qatar to cap his epic football career before leaving the international stage.
Argentina defeated Brazil – another 2022 World Cup favorite in the Maracana stadium in Brazil to clinch the coveted Copa America trophy. Argentina are currently enjoying a 35-game unbeaten run and are definitely top favorites to win the tournament.
Argentina are in Group D alongside Saudi Arabia, Mexico, and Poland. They will open their World Cup campaign against Saudi Arabia.
All things being equal, Lionel Messi is expected to lead his team to a winning start against the Arabs and to go ahead and win the Group to consolidate their position as top favorites for the trophy.