Lionel Messi has named Brazil, France, and England as his World Cup favorites in Qatar..
The seven-time Ballon d’Or winner will compete in his fifth World Cup this year, hoping to lead Argentina to their first World Cup victory since 1986.
When Argentina reached the World Cup final in 2014, Messi was named Player of the Tournament, but the Paris Saint-Germain star believes other teams are in a better position than the Albiceleste.
“Whenever we talk about candidates, we always talk about the same teams,” Messi told CONMEBOL, the South American football federation..
“If I had to pick favorites, I’d say Brazil, France, and England are slightly ahead of the rest.”
“However, the World Cup is so difficult and complicated that anything is possible.”
Messi’s six World Cup goals have all come in the group stages, and he has yet to score in 756 minutes of action in the tournament’s knockout rounds.
However, when Argentina finished runners-up to Germany eight years ago, Messi was in inspired form, contributing to 63% of his team’s goals in Brazil (5/8, with four goals and one assist).
He believes Lionel Scaloni’s team can advance further in the tournament this time.
“We are overjoyed. We have a very nice group that is very eager, but we are thinking about taking it slowly “Messi stated..
We hope to start the World Cup on a high note, ready to face whatever comes next. The more you play and spend time on the field together, the better you get to know each other.”
Argentina kicks off their Group C campaign against Saudi Arabia on Tuesday, followed by Poland and Mexico.