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L. Messi

Messi speaks out on injury rumours ahead of Argentina's World Cup opener

19:08 EAT 21/11/2022
Lionel Messi press conference
Lionel Messi has clarified his fitness status ahead of Argentina's World Cup opener on Tuesday amid concerns he was carrying an injury.
  • Messi fit for 'last' World Cup
  • Rubbishes injury concerns
  • Confident Argentina can succeed

WHAT HAPPENED? With Argentina's World Cup campaign set to kick off on Tuesday against Saudi Arabia, there has been concern over the fitness of a certain seven-time Ballon d'Or winner in what looks to be his last hurrah at the World Cup. Fans had feared Messi was carrying an ankle injury, but the man himself offered a positive update ahead of the game.

WHAT HE SAID: Speaking in Argentina's pre-match press conference, Messi explained: "I have no issues whatsoever. I heard there were rumors about having to miss part of the training or training a part of the training, no, it's just precautions. Nothing strange or out of the ordinary.

"I haven't done anything different, I just took care of myself," he added: "I have worked as I have done throughout my entire career. This is a special moment, most likely my last World Cup. My last opportunity to make my dream, our dream a reality."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Expectations of Lionel Scaloni's Argentina side are high, with many tipping them to go all the way in Qatar and lift the World Cup. Messi spoke wisely on the expectations, drawing on their recent Copa America triumph: "We just won a tournament and obviously it helps you work in a different way. You don't feel as anxious. It doesn't put as much pressure on you, we just focus on enjoying our time with the national team."

IN THREE PHOTOS:

WHAT NEXT FOR MESSI? Barring any calamities, Messi will most likely lead the line for his nation as they take on Saudi Arabia on Tuesday.