Russia 2018 is My Last Chance to Win World Cup, Says…

first_imgArgentina Star, Lionel Messi, is aware time is fast running out on his international career and the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia may be his last chance to win a senior international title.In an incredible career in which he’s won virtually every title including five Ballon d’Or gongs, a senior title with the Albiceleste is the only chink in his shining armour.Argentina has been three-time Copa America runners-up and also lost the 2014 World Cup final in Brazil in Messi’s 12 years with the senior team. The 30-year-old is now desperate to go one better in Russia, with his team having been beaten by Germany in extra time in Rio de Janeiro four years ago.“We feel that, if we won’t win the World Cup in Russia, the only way will be to give up the national team,” Messi told La Cornisa on Sunday.“I dream of winning the trophy in Russia. My wish is to live something similar to Brazil 2014.“You can do everything OK and fail, like Argentina in Brazil.”Argentina is considered favourites in a World Cup preliminary group which has Iceland, Croatia and Nigeria in Group D.Meanwhile, Argentina striker, Gonzalo Higuain, reckons the upcoming international friendlies against Spain and Italy will reveal La Albiceleste’s true potentials ahead of the World Cup which kicks off in Russia in June.Argentina , two-time world champions, will face the Azzurri of Italy at the Etihad Stadium in England on March 23rd before battling Spain four days later at the Wanda Metropolitan in Spain.Higuain, recalled to the Argentina squad after missing their last seven games told Mundo Albiceleste that he’s delighted to be back in the fold and looking forward to the challenge.“I’m happy about it. Two important matches, one of them against Spain, which will be a good opportunity to show the potential of Argentina facing the World Cup,” Higuain told Mundo Albiceleste.“I enjoy the national team and there are still important challenges.”Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more

Banyana Goalkeeper Backs S’Africa to Beat Nigeria in AWCON Opener

first_imgBanyana Banyana goalkeeper Kaylin Swart believes her team can be victorious when they take on arch-rivals Nigeria in their opening Group B match at the Africa Women’s Cup of Nations, at Cape Coast, in Ghana on Sunday.Banyana have been drawn into what many call the ‘group of death’, which besides South Africa and Nigeria, also includes quality opposition in Equatorial Guinea and Zambia.“Nigeria has always been one of our rivals and we know what to expect from them, but our coaches will hopefully put some puzzles together before Sunday,” said Swart, who won her first Banyana cap earlier this year against Sweden.“Whichever way we look at it, it’s going to be a battle.” Referring to the hot and humid conditions in the Cape Coast, Swart said that the heat factor will be the same for both teams.“To say it’s hot here is a bit of an understatement, but we can either sit here and complain, or go out there and play our socks off.”Referring to the warm-up match earlier this week where Banyana went down 1-0 to hosts Ghana, Swart said: “Ghana are one of the top four nations at the tournament.“Defensively we were sound, except for the one mistake from a corner kick that we made. We have one or two things to work on but we will be ready.”Swart and striker Jermaine Seoposenwe were part of the SA side that took part in the World Cup Women’s U-17 tournament in 2010 in Trinidad and Tobago. However, the goalkeeper was quick to point out that the World Cup at any level is quite different to the Olympics where Banyana played in 2012 and 2016.“Going to the Olympics is one thing and going to the World Cup is different, but if we take things one step at a time, we will get there,” said Swart.Swart and her colleagues can be excused if the nerves are fluttering so close to the start of the tournament.“Nerves show that we are human, and I would not say that it is a bad thing,” added the goalkeeper.Following the Nigeria match, Banyana will face Equatorial Guinea on November 21, before wrapping up their group commitments against Zambia three days later.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more