ARGENTINA TAKE ON SWEDEN

Argentina will be taking on Sweden in a friendly match as a preparation ahead of the World Cup qualifying matches that will resume in March. The team has not managed a victory in the last two friendly matches against Saudi Arabia and Brazil.

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MESSI WANTS TEAM PRIZE

The Argentina superstar Lionel Messi has claimed that he would happily swap the number of personal accolades he has received in recent seasons for the ultimate prize for a team – the World Cup.

DRAW NOT GOOD ENOUGH

The Argentina captain Lionel Messi has said that he is extremely dissatisfied with the 0-0 draw with Saudi Arabia in a recent friendly match. Argentina came into the match as one of the inform teams in the world due to the recent performances of the Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi.

After years of under performing with the national team, this has been a great year for the 25-year-old. He has scored numerous goals for Argentina in all competitions, but he could not break the deadlock in the recent match against minnows Saudi Arabia. This result means that Argentina will have to end the year on a sour note, which is a shame after having such great performances over the course of the year according to the Argentine.

Alejandro Sabella has made numerous changes to the national team by focusing on the 25-year-old Lionel Messi. This has paid rich dividends because the team has been able to enjoy victories over top teams like Germany and Brazil in a friendly matches, while they are also top of the 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifying group from South America. Messi has said that it feels like they have lifted the game to Saudi Arabia after a poor performance, while they did everything they could to win the match.

"We gifted them the game. It is a pity to end the year like this, after all we have been doing. We did not do the things we had to do, from the beginning of the game. Although we played better afterwards, we did not manage a win," said the Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi after the match. Argentina World Cup qualifying campaign will resume in March of next year with the match against Venezuela after which they will be playing the likes of Bolivia and Colombia.

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SABELLA BACKS MESSI

The Argentina national team manager Alejandro Sabella has said that he is extremely happy with the performance of the Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi for the national team.

After many years of struggling to perform at the national level, despite being one of the best players at club level, Lionel Messi is finally becoming to blossom under the guidance of the manager Alejandro Sabella. He has scored numerous goals for the Argentina national team in the last two years, which have helped them top the World Cup qualification group stages. Argentina are also one of the favourites to lift the World Cup title win the competition is held in Brazil this time around.

The 57-year-old Alejandro Sabella has been able to get the best out of Lionel Messi by changing the formation style of play of the national team in such a way that it reflects Barcelona. At Barcelona, Lionel Messi is the main ingredient whereas all the other players are played in such a way to suit the Argentine superstar. Alejandro Sabella has modified the Argentine national team by making players like Sergio Aguero and Angel di Maria focus on providing the supply for Lionel Messi.

“It is difficult for him to play badly. Now he is playing very well and, besides, he is scoring a lot of goals. When you have a player of Messi's quality it is important he is calm, content and happy. It is a group task," said the Argentina manager. "Chile's recent results have not been the best. They are at the stage where they need points. They have a great team and a great coach, who is very demanding, demands that you are switched on and with a lot of focus on scoring. They attack a lot and we will have to be at our best to get a good result," said Sabella before the Chile match.

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MESSI IS HAPPY

The Argentina national football team manager Alejandro Sabella has said that the Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi is extremely happy with his life in contrast to the Real Madrid attacker Cristiano Ronaldo.

The 27-year-old Cristiano Ronaldo recently claimed that he was sad due to professional reasons at the Spanish club. This has consequently lead to poor performances of the Spanish club in the league after they are currently in the 15th position. Barcelona, meanwhile, are currently top of the table due to the extraordinary performances of their superstar Lionel Messi. The Argentine once again was influential for the national team in the 3-1 win over Paraguay in a recent World Cup qualifying match.

After the victory, the Argentina manager Alejandro Sabella said that he does not see any reason for sadness within Lionel Messi. Previously, the Barcelona superstar did not perform for the national team, but Alejandro Sabella has modified the formation and the way the team plays in order to suit Lionel Messi. This has paid rich dividends after the national team are currently doing well in the World Cup qualifying group. The 25-year-old scored from a curling freekick in the 3-1 win over Paraguay. Argentina will be facing Peru and Uruguay in the next two qualifying matches.

"Messi is happy. He's on the top of his game and he's showing it out on the pitch. When he's in that sort of mood and feeling happy, we have a great chance of him giving us many more happy moments," said Sabella after the match. "This is a beautiful feeling. It's amazing when the crowd shows you so much love. It has happened in the Copa America, here in Cordoba, and in Buenos Aires, too," said Lionel Messi after scoring his 10th goal in just six matches for the national team.

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ONE OF THE BEST

The Argentina national team manager Alejandro Sabella has said that the attacking prowess within the current team is one of the best in the world, but has said that he does not think the future generation might be able to match the current generation in this regard.

The Argentina national team is one of the best in the world when it comes to attacking football due to the presence of players like Lionel Messi and Sergio Aguero. However, there was once a time when Argentina struggled to produce quality strikers who were capable of matching the great Diego Maradona.

Alejandro Sabella feels that the Argentina national team right now is suffering from the same problem due to the lack of high-quality youngsters coming from the youth academies of various clubs. Alejandro Sabella has said that one of the best aspects of the current team is the attacking strength and he is keen to use this ability to its maximum potential at the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. The qualification rounds for this competition has already begun. Argentina will be playing against Germany in a friendly match as part of the preparation for the qualification rounds.

"Not to offend anyone on my team, but it is what it is, we are better up front. In [Lionel] Messi, we have the best player in the world and we also have [Gonzalo] Higuain, [Angel] Di Maria and [Sergio] Aguero. There's no doubt that we are better equipped in attack than in defence. And when I say that, I don't mean to offend anyone on my team, but it is what it is," said Alejandro Sabella ahead of this match. The manager has said that most of the current crop of youngsters from Argentina do not have the physical nature, but are good in the technical aspect only.

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SABELLA PRAISES MESSI

The Argentina national team manager Alejandro Sabella has come out in praise of the Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi by saying that the nation is gifted that the 24-year-old is not a Brazilian.

Lionel Messi has often been described as the greatest player in the world right now, while many even have been comparing him with some of legends of football like Diego Maradona. He was once again at his explosive best in the recent friendly match against archrivals Brazil. The Brazilian national team has been featuring a number of young players in recent matches, and it was the case once again against Argentina.

Lionel Messi managed to score a wonderful hat-trick to help Argentina win the match 4-3 in the end. The 85th minute winner by Lionel Messi proved to be the decisive goal after Brazil had taken the lead in the second half. Argentina has been looking at various ways to bring out the best from the 24 year old Barcelona player.

Lionel Messi performs exceptionally well for the club team, but it has not been the case with the national team. This season, however, Messi has been doing extraordinary magic for the national team as well. He has now scored a remarkable 77 goals in all competitions this season.

"It's a rare moment that we must make the most of. Luckily he's from Argentina and we can enjoy ourselves. Leo is an exceptional talent, better than Cristiano Ronaldo. We don't play like Barcelona, we play more narrow but we still try to maximise his qualities. Talking about the game itself, it could have gone either way. It is very difficult to control a game against a team with such potential as Brazil. They have great attacking firepower. We need to work on our defence though, as this time we conceded three. We must find the right balance and equilibrium," Sabella told Ole.

MESSI DESERVERS FOUR

Barcelona midfielder Isaac Cuenca has said that Argentine superstar player Lionel Messi has proved this season that he deserves the fourth straight Ballon d'Or award.

Lionel Messi has already won the Ballon d'Or three times in succession. It is a feat that has been matched only by the likes of Ronaldo, Zinedine Zidane and a few others.

Just when it seemed that Lionel Messi would once again proved that he is by far the best in the Champions League this season, he failed miserably in the two matches against Chelsea in the semi-final. As a result, Barcelona have failed in their objective to become the first club to win the Champions League in successive occasions.

However, he has proved that he is once again the best in the world by scoring 72 goals in all competitions for Barcelona this season. Isaac Cuenca, who is beginning to establish himself as one of the first-team regulars at Barcelona under manager Guardiola, has said that Lionel Messi's record of having scored more goals than anyone else in the game of football in a single season alone deserves a lot of praise. Cuenca has even suggested that Argentine superstar Lionel Messi should receive the Ballon d'Or award for the fourth consecutive year.

"He is undoubtedly the best and deserves another Ballon d'Or. Leo helps us younger players, he tries to correct us and encourages us. In footballing terms, I always keep an eye on him [Pedro] because we play in the same position and because he also came out of the youth system. Tito’s arrival is a bonus for everybody, especially in order for Barça to continue with their model. But he hasn’t said anything yet, neither to the veterans or the youngsters," said Cuenca about Lionel Messi and the arrival of new manager Tito Vilanova.

READY FOR OCTOBER

The South American football world is great to be treated to a football feast next October, as they will be witnessing the clash between the Argentine national football team and the Brazilian national football team.

The match will be taking place at the Resistencia City, a venue that has been recently decided by the authorities of the two football Federations. It will be a great preparation for the 2014 World Cup for Brazil, who will be hosting the tournament.

It is certainly going to be a great match, as Lionel Messi seems to be coming into form for his national team at just the right moment.

The Centenario stadium will be the venue of the match, and it was decided by the Brazilian Football Confederation after making several visits to the venue.

They have expressed their confidence that this will be a match that will live up to its billing. The match is scheduled to take place on October 3. It is a friendly match that will be taking place as part of the “Superclassic of the Americas”. It is a friendly competition that was created by the South American Football Confederation back in June 2011. “It looks like those great stadiums of the worls,” Brazilian Guilherme Ribeiro stated.

Lionel Messi has been the best player in the world for a fierce now, but he has been unable to replicate the same form for his national team. However, he scored a hat-trick in the match against Switzerland in a friendly recently, which helped identify a potential partnership between him and Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero. It is expected that Argentina will very much be deploying a similar kind of formation to the one seen in the match against Switzerland in order to bring out the best of Lionel Messi.

MESSI SILENCES CRITICS

Lionel Messi has often been criticised for performing poorly at international level for Argentina. However, he silenced that his critics after scoring a wonderful hat-trick in the match against Switzerland on Wednesday night – a friendly for Argentina.

Argentina beat Switzerland 3-1 in the friendly match, which is expected to be a major preparation for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers for Argentina.

Lionel Messi has often found himself on the periphery of the attention when it comes to grabbing goals for Argentina. Even though Lionel Messi usually averages around one goal per game for Barcelona, the same does not apply for the international team.

Lionel Messi combined with the Manchester City striker Sergei Aguero for the opening goal in the 19th minute. It was a goal that once again showed the spectacular capability Lionel Messi possessed within him. It was a goal in which he ran through almost the entire Swiss defence to score it. In many ways, it was reminiscent of the goal he scored in the Spanish la Liga for Barcelona a few seasons ago.

However, Argentina could not capitalise on the lead, as they soon allowed the Swiss to get back into the game. Xherdan Shaqiri scored the equaliser for Switzerland, but Lionel Messi helped Argentina win the match comfortably in the closing stages after scoring two more goals to complete his hat-trick.

More than 30,000 people turned up to see the match, and they were not disappointed one little bit. Lionel Messi was the architect of all the goals scored in the match. Despite enjoying lengthy periods of possession, Argentina will be extremely unhappy at the fact that they allowed Switzerland to get back into the match. However, thanks to Lionel Messi, Argentina can go home with confidence about being able to take on the World Cup qualifiers.

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