Wednesday July 9 2014
Messi: Argentina are great without me

Lionel Messi has insisted that Argentina are a great side even without his presence in the team.

The Albicelestes have been wholly reliant on the former Ballon d’Or winner in this World Cup, with the Barcelona man scoring four of their eight goals in the tournament.

But ‘La Pugla’ has claimed that he wouldn’t be missed if he was to sit out this evening’s semi-final against Netherlands.

“I absolutely do not agree that Argentina are nothing without me,” he told The Times of Inda.

“Football is a team game, so whoever says that does not portray the actual scenario. 

“Yes, I scored a few important goals which have helped our team, but there are 10 other members of the team who helped us reach where we are now.

Messi praised Napoli striker Gonzalo Higuain, who netted against Belgium in the quarter-final, and admitted that Angel Di Maria will be missed in Sao Paulo tonight.

“Gonzalo Higuain scored the all-important winner against Belgium and we all were happy to defend the lead for the remaining part of the game. Everybody had to fight for everything.

“Angel has been an integral part of the side on and off the field. He has played really well before he had to leave the ground. It was shocking. 

“His decisive runs inside the opponent's defensive third helped us create space for the strikers as well. We'll miss him but Argentina will play at their best.”

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