Messi sets sights on World Cup title after securing qualification
There was joy and relief for Lionel Messi, whose three goals sent Argentina through to the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
Hat-trick hero Lionel Messi said it would have been “crazy” if Argentina did not qualify for the World Cup after he guided the two-time champions to next year’s tournament, but has already set his sights on winning it all in Russia.
But five-time Ballon d’Or winner Messi saved the day, scoring twice in the first half and again just past the hour-mark to see Argentina – runners-up in 2014 – to their 12th successive World Cup.
“It would have been crazy not to be in the World Cup. The group deserved to qualify.
Messi continued: “We were away from the press for a while and the people. I think it served to get us closer. If we all go hand in hand, everything will be easier.
“Enjoy the qualification and prepare little by little. The team will change, there will be another and it will grow.”