International success have been hard to come by for Lionel Messi but, after a difficult qualifying campaign, can this be the year he leads Argentina to World Cup glory? Messi, along with Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo, is regarded as one of the greatest players to have graced the sport and you only have to look at the club success to see this.
Having spent his entire career at Barcelona, the 30-year-old has won eight La Liga titles, five Copa del Rey crowns, three UEFA Super Cups, three FIFA Club World Cups and four Champions League crowns.
Individually, the Rosario-born star, who has scored more than 350 goals for the Catalans, has won the Ballon d’Or five times and he will be absolutely crucial to his countries chances of lifting the World Cup for the first time since 1986.
Argentina came agonisingly close to lifting the trophy four years ago, losing to Germany in the final, and they are priced at 9.00 to triumph in Russia this summer, just behind Spain at 8.50.
It didn’t look like La Albiceleste would be making the event this year, having endured a tough qualifying campaign, but a Messi hat-trick in the final group game secured them an automatic spot.
The Barcelona legend scored seven qualifying goals, leading Argentina’s scoring charts, highlighting just how integral to the team he is.
Jorge Sampaoli’s men have been handed arguably one of the toughest groups at the World Cup after being drawn in Pool D with Nigeria, Croatia and the ever-improving Iceland.
Argentina open their campaign against the Icelander’s on June 16th and the 2018 World Cup finalists are firm 1.36 favourites to win, a draw is priced at 4.50 whilst their opponents are massive 10.00 outsiders.