'This is Messi's World Cup' - Tevez backing Barcelona star to lead Argentina charge

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A man who missed out on a place in the Albiceleste squad believes global glory can be secured in Russia, with only Germany and Brazil posing a threat

Carlos Tevez believes that Russia 2018 will be “Lionel Messi’s World Cup”, with the Barcelona talisman ready to inspire Argentina to global glory.

The 30-year-old forward is yet to savour senior international success with his country, with final heartache having denied him the opportunity to complete a remarkable haul of honours.

Messi does, however, have another shot at cementing his status as an all-time great this summer, with his presence alone considered to have Argentina in contention for football’s biggest prize.

Tevez believes his countrymen will be in contention, with there only two sides capable of competing with the Albiceleste if they perform to their potential.

The Boca Juniors striker told Corriere della Sera: “I am sure that this is Messi's World Cup.

“He has a lot of anger in his body, even if he does not show it.

“I don't think this will be his last tournament, but I expect a great World Cup.

“Argentina is one of the favourites. Only Germany and Brazil are at our level.”

Jorge Sampaoli’s side will open their campaign against Iceland on Saturday.

A team loaded with attacking talent will be expected to deliver plenty of goals, with Messi set to be assisted by the likes of Gonzalo Higuain, Sergio Aguero and Paulo Dybala.

Palmeiras Boca Copa Libertadores 11042018

Tevez had been hoping to form part of those plans, but the 34-year-old endured fitness struggles upon returning to Boca from China and missed out as a result.

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The former Manchester United and Juventus forward added: “I expected to be in the World Cup.

“I had returned to Boca from China because of that, but then I had a muscular injury and I understood I would not succeed.”

Tevez’s international career is now likely at a close after scoring 13 goals in 76 appearances for his country.

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