Messi chides `ridiculous` reports of influencing Argentina selection

Barcelona and Argentina forward Lionel Messi poses with the official match ball for the 2018 World Cup football tournament named

Messi was in action for Argentina in Saturday's 1-0 win over 2018 World Cup hosts Russian Federation in Moscow but will return to his base in Barcelona, Spain ahead of his club's Spanish La Liga fixture next weekend against Leganes.

After going down 1-0 away to Ecuador, Lionel Messi scored a hat trick to give Argentina a 3-1 victory.

"This is what we are looking for", Sampaoli told a post-match news conference at the Luzhniki Stadium, newly refurbished ahead of next year's World Cup.

Aguero joined Hernan Crespo in third on the list of Argentina's all-time highest goalscorers with his effort, and Sampaoli was impressed with what he saw.

The first real opening came when Angel Di Maria's cross-goal shot from Messi's lay-off was kept out by Akinfeev, and Aguero was unable to turn home the loose ball from an acute angle.

"[Aguero] read and understood the match very well in a few places".


Head Coach of Arsenal, Arsene Wenger, has said that he was pleased with the qualification of Argentina, together with Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi, for the 2018 World Cup.

Akinfeev was the hero of the first half as he produced another impressive save after Aguero's powerful shot from just nine yards out.

"There were several aspects to highlight".

"We miss the chances we had, but we dominated". We trust in the formation and in the attitude against a compact opponent.

Messi said, "We did not win - and we all went through that".

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