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  5. FIFA World Cup 2018 not to be Lionel Messi's final appearance, says Argentina coach Jorge Sampaoli

FIFA World Cup 2018 not to be Lionel Messi's final appearance, says Argentina coach Jorge Sampaoli

Barcelona superstar is "very thrilled with the possibility of starting a new tournament that puts him in a suitable place," Sampaoli said on Friday.

Reported by: IANS, Moscow [ Published on: June 16, 2018 7:17 IST ]
Image Source : GETTY IMAGES

Lionel Messi of Argentina in action during a training session

The FIFA World Cup 2018 in Russia will not be Lionel Messi's final appearance in the global tournament, Argentina coach Jorge Sampaoli said in Moscow. Messi, a five-time Ballon d'Or winner, is 30. (FIFA WORLD CUP 2018 SCHEDULE & RESULTS)

The FC Barcelona superstar is "very thrilled with the possibility of starting a new tournament that puts him in a suitable place," Sampaoli said on Friday, stressing that it will be Messi who decides when to call an end to his international career, Efe reported.

"I do not think this will be his last World Cup," Sampaoli said of his captain after announcing the starting 11 for Saturday's World Cup opener against Iceland.

The roster offered no surprises, with Willy Caballero in goal, Eduardo Salvio, Nicolas Otamendi, Marcos Rojo, and Nicolas Tagliafico on the back line, Javier Mascherano and Lucas Biglia in midfield, Messi, Angel Di Maria, and Maximiliano Meza ahead of them, and Sergio Agüero as lone striker.

Iceland, making its first-ever appearance in the World Cup, could pose a threat on the counter-attack, Sampaoli said.

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Asia Cup Schedule 2018

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ASIA CUP 2018 Points Table

Group A

  • Teams Matches Wins Losses Points NRR
  • India 3 3 0 6 +1.329
  • Pakistan 3 2 1 4 +0.072
  • Hong Kong 2 0 2 0 -1.748

Group B

  • Teams Matches Wins Losses Points NRR
  • Afghanistan 3 2 1 4 -0.072
  • Bangladesh 3 1 2 2 -1.329
  • Sri Lanka 2 0 2 0 -2.280