Former Paris Saint-Germain and Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino has said Lionel Messi’s Argentines could face stiff four-team competition at the FIFA World Cup in Qatar later this year.
Argentina are one of the favorites to win the prestigious four-yearly tournament. Led by Lionel Scaloni, the squad is in fine form, having won two international trophies in the last 12 months. That includes the first Copa America title in almost three decades last summer.
Argentina is currently third in the FIFA rankings and is unbeaten in 33 matches. They are just four wins short of the longest winning streak in international football. Reigning European champions Italy hold that record, having gone 37 games unbeaten between 2018 and 2021.
Speaking to Infobae, Pochettino opened up about the potential FIFA World Cup winners alongside La Albiceleste. He said:
“I think that France, Brazil, even Spain, England and there will always be a surprise, right?”
Analyzing Lionel Scaloni’s work with Argentina national team, Pochettino added:
“I think he’s doing a great job. Winning the Copa America has given him a lot of peace of mind; it was a great motivation for the group to believe that important things can be achieved. I believe that in football, that’s the secret , to believe that you can, and I think Argentina has that spirit with a leader like Leo.”
The former PSG boss also praised Messi, saying that the player is ‘at his best physically’.
“He’s at his best physically and I think that age is something anecdotal,” said Pochettino. “I think he has the energy and ability to lead and reach the FIFA World Cup in the best conditions. Thanks to football, I’m lucky to have had so many moments with Leo during this period.”
Argentina have been drawn into Group C of the 2022 FIFA World Cup along with Poland, Mexico and Saudi Arabia. The competition starts on November 21st and the final is scheduled for December 18th.
Lionel Messi is nearing his best ahead of the new season, says the journalist
After scoring just six Ligue 1 goals last season, Lionel Messi is aiming for a better season for PSG. Speaking to L’Equipe du Soir (via Canal Supporters), journalist Arnaud Hermant took a look at the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner’s preparations for the season.
“Messi, the staff are very happy with it,” said Hermant. “The staff find him very dedicated, very professional. He thinks he’s in good shape. He’s not at the top yet, but he’s not bad.”
The 35-year-old scored in PSG’s 4-0 Trophe des Champions win over Nantes in Tel Aviv on July 31.
https://www.sportskeeda.com/football/news-mauricio-pochettino-names-4-teams-challenge-lionel-messi-s-argentina-2022-fifa-world-cup?utm_source=feed&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=sportskeeda Mauricio Pochettino names 4 teams that could challenge Lionel Messi’s Argentina at 2022 FIFA World Cup