September 21, 2018

How Neymar And Brazil Could Ruin Messi And Argentina's World Cup Dreams

11 October 2017, 12:20 | Pamela Mathis

Argentina's Lionel Messi playing against Switzerland at 2014 football World Cup in Brazil

Argentina's Lionel Messi playing against Switzerland at 2014 football World Cup in Brazil

Jokela continued: "If Argentina didn't make it to the tournament- there would be an impact on outright odds as Argentina are now #5 favourite to win World Cup 2018 - other favourites' odds like Germany's, France's, Brazil's, Spain's, Belgium's and England's would naturally drop a bit".

The Argentina captain was close to retirement after the Copa America final defeat to Chile, but is now is even closer.

The FIFA supremo told La Nacion: "Messi is extraordinary".

Ecuador have lost their past five qualifiers and are already eliminated - but Argentina have not beaten them in Quito since 2001.

Chile could seal their qualification with victory over Brazil in Sao Paulo.

Sadly, Sampaoli's arrival hasn't made things better, and the former Sevilla and Chile boss is still waiting for his first competitive win after seeing his team score only one goal in three games.

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"Can you imagine what the show's going to be like if Argentina wins?" It would be a test of nerves for the Argentines as they will have to combat all odds to make it to the World Cup, under challenging conditions, against a team playing for pride. The omens are good for Los Cafeteros, who have won their last four qualifying meetings with the Peruvians.

Argentina's struggles throughout their 2018 qualification campaign have threatened to leave Messi hanging for a little longer, but Infantino believes that Jorge Sampaoli's side will drag themselves over the line. For the tour before the end of the selection, Ecuadorians with 20 points and goal difference 25-26 take 8th place in the group from which they will not move anywhere. Paraguay, who can also qualify with a win, a draw between Colombia and Peru and Argentina not winning, play bottom place Venezuela. A win will guarantee the visitors a ticket to Russian Federation, while any other result will leave them sweating on events elsewhere. Peru also have a chance even if they draw or lose.

Messi has played in nine of Argentina's 17 qualifiers.

A draw for Messi and company could be enough, depending on how other results fall.

In their last qualifier on Tuesday, Brazil host Chile in Sao Paulo with Paris Saint-Germain star Neymar looking to add to his 52 global goals in 80 appearances.

If Argentina loses, La Albiceleste do have a chance to qualify only if Paraguay loses and Peru loses by more goals than Argentina's loss.

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