Argentina’s Angel Di Maria is confident that the La Albiceleste can win the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia for the first time since 1986 this summer after coming so close in Brazil 2014.
Di Maria was part of the Argentine squad that lost 1-0 to current champions Germany 1-0 in the finals of the competition in Rio.
The Paris Saint-Germain star feels the South Americans, who are drawn alongside Nigeria, Iceland and Croatia in Group D, stand a great chance of landing their third FIFA World Cup title.
“Argentina is always one of the favourites, first of all because we have Lionel Messi,” Di Maria told www.sc.qa.
“There are other teams playing at a high level, like Spain and France, but Argentina is among the best.
“We have to keep working hard to remain at the top level. World Cup tournaments are always different to the qualifying rounds. If you don’t win, you go home, and that makes the games very special.”
The Paris Saint Germain attacking midfielder also heaped praise on Barcelona superstar Messi.
“Messi is already the greatest,” added Di Maria.
“Winning the World Cup would validate him, but he is already the best. Hopefully, football will give Messi this World Cup – it would be good for everyone.
“Messi has achieved everything in his career – the only thing missing is a World Cup. Obviously, as an Argentine and a team-mate of his, I would love for it to happen in Russia.”