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Lionel Messi Hat-Trick Fuels Argentina's World-Cup Warmup Rout Of Haiti

30 May 2018

However, he says he does not regret choosing to play for his native country rather than Spain, who won the World Cup in 2010.

Messi is preparing for the World Cup in Russian Federation with Argentina and says winning it with his country would be a unique experience, and he does not wish he chose to play for Spain, who lifted the trophy in 2010. The 30-year-old scored thrice for Argentina in the global friendly encounter with Haiti on May 30, as the team secured a 4-0 win over the minnows.

"People need to know that we are not going to Russian Federation as favourites but we have a group of very good players and we are ready to scrap", Messi said.

"A friend of mine told me that I'd now be a world champion if I'd played for Spain, but it wouldn't have been the same", Messi told Pasión por el Futbol. "I believe so, I have faith in this team", he said.

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Keen to ensure he entered this summer's World Cup in the best possible physical condition, Messi allowed Barça boss Ernesto Valverde to rest him from time to time over the past few months.

Messi moved to Barcelona at the age of 13 and would have been eligible to play for Spain.

Javier Mascherano joined Javier Zanetti as Argentina's most-capped player in his 143rd global appearance and the former Barcelona utility was honoured pre-game.

Messi added: "With every season in Europe I'm more clear, Barca will be my last club there".

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According to the Federation Internationale de Football Association world rankings, Argentina is fifth, Croatia is 18th, Iceland is 22nd and Nigeria 47th. "That's where it all stems from, but at no time did the thought or any doubts cross my mind".

Lionel Messi is ready for the World Cup. "Qualification [for the World Cup] was not easy but we made it".

The gulf in class was obvious in Buenos Aires, where 103 spots separated fifth-ranked Argentina and Haiti.

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Lionel Messi Hat-Trick Fuels Argentina's World-Cup Warmup Rout Of Haiti