— 15th April 2018
Gabriel Batistuta has warned that Argentina can’t rely on Lionel Messi at the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia like they did so abundantly in its qualifiers.
La Albiceleste managed merely seven points from a possible 24 without ‘The Atomic Flea’ in their preliminary campaign. With him they seized 21 points from a possible 30, culminating in a come-from-behind 3-1 victory in Ecuador that ensured Argentina didn’t miss out on their first World Cup since Mexico 1970.
“Messi is a player who can play in any team,” said Batistuta. “I’d always want him in my team, but depending on a player doesn’t seem fair to me, for with the level of the national teams we are going to face at the World Cup, depending on a player is very dangerous.”
Argentina are in Group D at Russia 2018, alongside Iceland, Croatia and Nigeria.