Soccer Football - Champions League - Olympiacos vs FC Barcelona - Karaiskakis Stadium, Piraeus, Greece - October 31, 2017 Barcelona’s Lionel Messi -
CAIRO – 8 November: Argentinean captain Lionel Messi prefers to avoid Spain in the 2018 World Cup group stage, he told the press on Wednesday.
“I would prefer to avoid Spain in the group stage because they are a very difficult opponent,“ Messi told the press.
The World Cup draw held in December could put Argentina and Spain together in the group because of their current positions in FIFA World rankings, where Argentina will be in the first level while the eighth ranked Spain will be in the second level.
Messi could face his Barcelona teammates Gerard Pique, Jordi Alba, Andres Iniesta, and Sergio Busquets if Argentina meets Spain in the World Cup.
Messi spoke about the possibility of playing in Argentina before retirement, stating, “I still have to play for Newell's Old Boys. The desire to play in Argentinian football will always remain."
Messi, born in Rosario, played for Rosario’s local team, Newell’s Old Boys, when he was a kid, before signing for Barcelona at 13.