Lionel Messi thanks Argentina fans for support despite Spain thrashing

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A makeshift and inexperienced Scotland side were beaten but not disgraced in their 2-0 loss to World Cup-bound Peru at the frenzied Estadio Nacional in Lima.

Aware this could be his last chance to win the World Cup, he's made sure everything's in place for him to be at his best in Russian Federation this summer.

Argentina manager Jorge Sampaoli said the team still had some improvements to make ahead of the tournament, but added that his side had proved their dominance against Haiti.

Despite this, Messi has acknowledged he would have already won football's most prestigious accolade in a World Cup medal if he made a decision to represent the country he grew up in during his teenage years.

"A friend of mine told me that I'd now be a world champion if I'd played for Spain, but it wouldn't have been the same", Messi told Pasión por el Futbol.

"We all want to be crowned world champions".

Messi has now revealed he was first approached to play for Spain when he was on tour in Finland with the Blaugrana, but already he had his heart set on playing for his country of birth.

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It was a night of celebration for another Barcelona star as Javier Mascherano joined Javier Zanetti as Argentina's most-capped player with 143 worldwide appearances.

Argentina lock horns with Iceland on June 16, before taking on Croatia five days later and ending their group games against Nigeria on June 26. "That's where it all stems from, but at no time did the thought or any doubts cross my mind".

Dybala said Messi is the best player in the world and sharing the training ground with him is incredible.

"Every time I'm more clear that in Europe, Barcelona will be my only place".

'I do not advocate it and I don't think Federation Internationale de Football Association will support it, but Players must do something about it. Racism may live beyond our time but we need to make a strong statement, ' he said.

The Argentina captain was one of only three players - along with Willy Caballero and Javier Mascherano - to play the full 90 minutes in Buenos Aires.

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