South Americans enjoy Cup warm-up wins

South Americans enjoy Cup warm-up wins

South Americans enjoy Cup warm-up wins

Paris - Four years after narrowly missing out on football's grandest prize, Argentina superstar Lionel Messi returns for what is likely his last shot at lifting the World Cup. We're working well, we have players with ability and experience, but we have to take things slowly.

"The other teams don't think, '(Gonzalo) Higuain is being criticised in Argentina".

In another game in Panama City, the hosts prepared for their first ever World Cup with a 0-0 draw against Northern Ireland. "That is the schedule that the AFA (the Argentinian football federation) have given us".

And Messi who won the Olympic gold medal after Argentina beat the West Africans in the final in 2008, bagged three goals in the 17th, 58th and 66th minute of the game.

"We are not playing Messi but Argentina, it's all about teamwork, with or without Messi, and our focus is to perform better in the World Cup".

The South Americans have two final World Cup warm-up matches - against Saudi Arabia in Switzerland on Sunday and then against Sweden on 9 June in Gothenburg. "Qualification [for the World Cup] was not easy but we made it".

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"But we do not have to throw the message of "we are going to be the world champion because we are the best", because the reality is that it is not like that".

"No one should doubt that we're going to give our all, as our supporters demand. We can not send the message that we are the best, because that's not true".

The VAR system will be rolled out for the first time at a World Cup at the June 14 to July 15 tournament in Russian Federation.

"We are going to Russian Federation with all the enthusiasm".

Argentina play Iceland in Moscow in their first match of the World Cup on June 16. "This is a handsome opportunity and we're going to give it our all".

Messi's former Barcelona team-mate Javier Mascherano has also called on the team to band together after recent disappointments ahead of Argentina's penultimate friendly against Haiti today (tomorrow, Singapore time).

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