Messi pride at putting Argentina back on the map

The forward has thanked fans for their support following their World Cup final loss to Germany and has set his sights on future international challenges
Lionel Messi has expressed his pride at the way he has helped to make Argentina a force to be reckoned with once again despite their World Cup final defeat.

Alejandro Sabella's men achieved what no Albiceleste side had done since 1990, when Diego Maradona was still in his prime, by reaching the final of this summer's World Cup in Brazil.

Unfortunately for the Barcelona forward and his team-mates, Mario Gotze's goal in extra-time gave Germany the trophy as they won 1-0 - just as they had done in 1990 - to end Argentina's dreams.

Messi is looking ahead to future challenges with the national team instead of dwelling on the past, understandably, and is delighted that the mood in the country towards the players is one of positivity once again.

I want to say thank you for all the support we have been given since the World Cup finished," he wrote on his official Facebook account.

"It's really nice to see the whole country excited about the team again. Now we have new and good challenges ahead which we will face with the same commitment. Thanks to everyone. A hug."

Argentina will be hoping to bounce back next summer in the Copa America, which is set to be an intriguing tournament considering the number of South American teams that performed impressively at the World Cup.