MX23RW : Sunday, July 22 22:38:35

Lionel Messi: 'We want to avoid Spain'

Lionel Messi reveals that Argentina are desperate to avoid Spain in the group stages of the 2018 World Cup.

Lionel Messi has revealed that Argentina are desperate to avoid Spain in the group stages of the 2018 World Cup.

Argentina only just secured qualification for next summer's tournament in Russia after beating Ecuador in their final match, and the South American outfit will not be among the top seeds when the draw is made.

Messi has claimed that Spain would be nightmare group-stage opponents for Argentina, while the Barcelona forward has also picked out Germany, France and Brazil as strong competitors.

"Our worst draw for the World Cup would be to have Spain in the group stages," Messi told TyC Sports. "I would prefer to avoid them as they would be really tough opponents for any side.

"I believe that at this moment, Spain, Germany, France and Brazil are the strongest teams who are in strong positions, those who are playing best, with the best individuals."

Argentina will take on Russia and Nigeria in international friendlies over the next week.

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Lionel Messi during an Argentina training session on March 22, 2016
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