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Argentina boss Sabella: Everyone is behind Messi

The Albiceleste boss has voiced his support for the Barcelona attacker, who has been criticized for his form and on-field demeanor in recent months.

Alejandro Sabella says that everyone within his Argentina squad is fully behind captain Lionel Messi.

The four-time Ballon d'Or winner racked up 41 goals in just 46 appearances in all competitions for Barcelona last season, yet his form and attitude were the subject of much scrutiny throughout the 2013-14 season, with former Blaugrana assistant coach Angel Cappa claiming that the 26-year-old had lost his passion for soccer.

Sabella, though, insists that neither he nor his players have any doubts over Messi's commitment to their particular cause.

"The leader is the captain and that is Messi," the Argentina boss told reporters. "Everyone is behind him. He is our flag."

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Argentina received a favorable draw for Brazil 2014, having come out in Group F alongside Bosnia-Herzegovina, Iran and Nigeria. Sabella is refusing to talk about the Albiceleste going all the way but he is confident of reaching the semifinals.

"I don't promise the cup," he said. "We are thinking of finishing in the top four. And we want more than that. We have to do better than the last World Cups."

Argentina has reached the quarterfinals at the past two World Cups, while the last of its two titles came in 1986.