• Thursday, August 21, 2014

Argentina don't depend on me: Messi

Argentina's Lionel Messi controls the ball during the official training session at The Corinthians Arena in Sao Paulo ahead of their 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil round of 16 football match against Switzerland. Photo: Getty Images
Argentina's Lionel Messi controls the ball during the official training session at The Corinthians Arena in Sao Paulo ahead of their 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil round of 16 football match against Switzerland. Photo: Getty Images

Lionel Messi insists Argentina don't rely on him to carry them to World Cup glory this year.

The captain has been the star of the team, scoring four goals across the three group stage games. The Barcelona star ensured his side took all three points from each of their games, making the difference against Iran and Nigeria after clinching the win with an excellent goal to make it 2-0 against Bosnia and Herzegovina in their opening game, Peter McVitie writes in goal.com

But the 27-year-old says the team are not dependent on him. "I don't think the team depends heavily on me, far from it," he told Times of India. "We are a quality team, so I am only a part of this. We only can win as a team."

The forward says he is desperate to win the tournament, admitting that he is jealous of the Barcelona players who have lifted the trophy.

"Surely I would love to win the World Cup with Argentina," he added. "But not to change the way people view me from outside but because that's our team's objective and to be able to add a new title to my honours list.

"I am really jealous of my Barcelona team-mates who've already won the trophy. No matter how much I ask, they'll never be able to describe that feeling to me and I want to experience it at least once in my career."

Lionel Messi of Argentina and coach Alejandro Sabella during a training session at Arena de Sao Paulo ahead of their 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil round of 16 football match against Switzerland. Photo: Getty Images
Lionel Messi of Argentina and coach Alejandro Sabella during a training session at Arena de Sao Paulo ahead of their 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil round of 16 football match against Switzerland. Photo: Getty Images

The four-time Ballon d'Or winner feels he has matured a lot over the last few years and feels the birth of his son, Thiago, has changed him.

"I surely am older and more mature but if I'm in any way different, that is for others to judge. I have matured a lot as a footballer over the last few years," he said.

"I've been through a lot of good and bad things that have made me a better professional and human being.

"Becoming a father makes you see things differently and it has been the biggest change in the recent years for me off the field.

"It's changed me a lot and I am thankful for that."

Published: 12:00 am Tuesday, July 01, 2014

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