Previous
NSI Runavik
Hibernian
4
6
FT
Leg 2Aggregate: 5 - 12
Game Details
Manchester United
América
1
1
FT
Game Details
Blackburn Rovers
Liverpool
0
2
FT
Game Details
Wolverhampton Wanderers
Ajax Amsterdam
1
1
FT
Game Details
Finland U19
Norway U19
2
3
FT
Game Details
Portugal U19
Italy U19
2
3
FT
Game Details
Chapecoense
Bahia
1
1
FT
Game Details
Cruzeiro
América-MG
3
1
FT
Game Details
Santos
Palmeiras
1
1
FT
Game Details
Vasco da Gama
Fluminense
1
1
FT
Game Details
Atlético-PR
Internacional
2
2
FT
Game Details
Next

No talks over new Argentina coach - AFA

FIFA World Cup
Read

Argentina want Gareca to replace Sampaoli

FIFA World Cup
Read

Sampaoli still Argentina coach - AFA chief

Argentina
Read

Sampaoli's Argentina future on hold for now

Argentina
Read

Kempes offers himself for Argentina job

FIFA World Cup
Read
ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Lionel Messi calls for Gonzalo Higuain inclusion in Argentina WC squad

Lionel Messi says that striker Gonzalo Higuain should be picked for Argentina's World Cup squad.

Higuain lost his place to Inter Milan's Mauro Icardi and Boca Juniors' Dario Benedetto for Argentina's final matches in the South American World Cup qualifiers under coach Jorge Sampaoli.

But in an interview with local channel TyC Sports, broadcast on Wednesday, Messi described Higuain as "a fundamental player, he needs to be there."

Argentina's five-time world player of the year added that Higuain "is one of the best No. 9s in the world, he shows it every weekend at Juventus."

Higuain was a starter for Argentina in the World Cup final against Germany in Brazil 2014 and in the finals of the Copa America in 2015 and 2016.

Having qualified for next year's World Cup in Russia, Sampaoli recently said he was going to consider calling up Higuain again.

Messi added that his national team must improve if they are to lift the World Cup next summer. The Albiceleste struggled in qualifying and are trying to find their best play under coach Jorge Sampaoli.

Messi, who scored a hat trick in Argentina's last qualifier to earn his team a ticket to Russia, said: "I think we have enough time to improve. We've had some good games with Sampaoli. It's true that we have to improve if we want to aspire to be world champions. As we are today, we will not get there, not in the least. Right now there are better teams than us like Brazil, Germany, France and Spain."

Looking back at the last three finals -- two in the Copa America and at the 2014 World Cup -- he has lost with Argentina, Messi added: "We deserved to win at least two of those three finals.

"I have not looked at them since. What I have is memories that remain. We deserved to win them because despite not playing well, we had the best chances in the World Cup and in the Copa America."

Messi also spoke about his last match with club team Barcelona, a 2-0 Champions League win against Sporting Lisbon that he came off the substitute's bench for in the 61st minute.

"The season is long and I have to accept playing less," Messi said. "I have learned that because there are so many games during the season and my body is starting to take its toll if you play all the games. I know this is for the best.

"It's tough to be on the bench during the games. From there you see everything much easier and you see things that you don't see inside. But in the field, not everything is so easy."

Information from the Associated Press was used in this story.

Comments

Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on ESPN's media platforms. Learn more.