Messi reacts to Valverde dropping him against Sporting Lisbon, Juventus — Champions League

Lionel Messi in action for Argentina            
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Lionel Messi in action for Argentina Show Grid

Lionel Messi has defended Gonzalo Higuain, claiming the Juventus striker is one of the best in the world and deserves to be in the Argentina squad.

One player who has already announced his intention to end his Argentina career after the World Cup is Messi's Barcelona team-mate Javier Mascherano. The 30-year old's contract was set to expire in the summer, leading to speculations over his future with former manager, Pep Guardiola, on the horizon at Manchester City. "I have always said that I don't consider myself to be a striker, but I have been lucky enough to always score goals and win individual prizes", he said. "I have a family and my children come first".

While it remains to be seen whether Barcelona actually let go of the Spaniard for Rose, there is no doubt that the player will do well at Camp Nou. "There is nothing defined but we did have a conversation". "We still had the best chances, both in the World Cup and Copa America", he said.

The Argentine has been named among the substitutes in Barca's past two UEFA Champions League matches, a spot he has not had to get used to since his breakout season in Barca's senior side when he was just 17 years old.

Messi, speaking to TyC Sports, said: "If we do badly at the World Cup, we all have to disappear from the national team". But it's true that we have to improve if we aspire to be world champions.

"I think it's the last opportunity for this group".

"I would have to review them to see what we did wrong so we didn't them. I think we deserved to win two, at least".

Having been drawn with Nigeria, Iceland and Croatia in Group D in next year's tournament, the five-time Ballon d'Or winner expressed worries about the threat posed by the Super Eagles to his country's chances of reaching the second round.

Higuain has been dropped for the last few games in favour of Inter hitman Mauro Icardi.

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