Argentina’s former midfielder Juan Roman Riquelme believes that Argentina can compete in the World Cup if Messi performs at his best.
There had been speculations that Messi was not fully fit during the 2014 World Cup year and the Argentine was even out for two months through an injury during that World Cup year. However, Messi carried the Albiceleste to the final before they were eventually defeated by champions Germany back in 2014.
Riquelme believes that Messi can make the difference with his genius but others would have to play well too. The Barcelona playmaker dragged his side to the Russia World Cup with a hat-trick in the final qualifying match against Ecuador.
We hope that we do well, that the players do well and above all Messi," the Riquelme told El Trece.
"If the latter happens, Argentina will have many chances to win. If Messi is good, nothing is complicated.
Riquelme opined that when a player as important as Messi is in the team then the team must depend on his unique abilities.
However there is a danger of overdependence when it comes to the Messi’s functionality in the Argentina national setup. Something that coach Jorge Sampaoli will need to address.
“I don't know Sampaoli. It is important that Argentina can win the World Cup. We want to celebrate and when there are players as important as Messi, you depend on them a lot.” Riquelme said.