Bolt makes a surprising admission ahead of World Cup

Virginia Santiago
June 15, 2018

Johann Gudmundsson hopes Iceland can keep a lid on Lionel Messi in their World Cup opener, after provoking the ire of Cristiano Ronaldo at Euro 2016.

According to a recent poll in Germany, 76.8 percent want to support the Icelanders at the World Cup - providing they do not meet their side in the knockout stages.

Lionel Messi has warned his Argentine teammates to be wary of Nigeria and Croatia in their group D parings. He would be viewed as the greatest player of all time. "There are a lot of romantic things in our heads now we start to play Argentina".

The jewel in this Iceland team's crown is undoubtedly Gylfi Sigurrdsson and the team will rely heavily on the Everton man's crosses and set pieces to nick a goal in this tournament.

People focus too much on Messi for failing to bring Argentina to worldwide football glory, as if he is the only one responsible in that in coming up short.

Paulo Dybala: The Juventus superstar is arguably the most talented player Argentina has after Messi.

The striker nearly single-handedly rescued his country's qualifying campaign to ensure they made it to Russian Federation. Now let me ask you: does this hypothetical scenario make him any different of a player? Suffice to say he has his critics.

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These qualities make him the bane of numerous opposition's defence as he alone, can wreak havoc and create chances for his team, especially from the flank which could compliment the brilliance of Messi and the talents of the other strikers. He's not just a player, he's an engine.

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"You can't have a better welcome", coach Heimar Hallgrimsson said in Moscow last December.

By the same token, it is hard to see how Messi could not be indulged.

Surrounded with a technically gifted midfield and the blistering pace of Ousmane Dembele and Kylian Mbappe, the 27-year-old is likely to get in on the action against Australia, Peru, and Denmark.

Nicolas TAGLIAFICO, who was not even in the Argentina squad past year is now the starting left back.

He is the player they can not do without and yet, at the same time, the player whose influence has become so overarching that some team-mates seem inhibited.

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"The likes of Dybala and Gonzalo Higuain will also have to step up".

"They both arrive at this World Cup probably as the last one", Mourinho said on Thursday. I loved Argentina from before even Maradona. Messi can not go it alone, but the burden on him is colossal.

The near misses have certainly piqued national frustration and Messi, naturally, is the most obvious target for that.

I'm expecting Spain to go far so Diego Costa provides good value at 25/1. "It was our first game in a major tournament and they couldn't beat Iceland so it was not nice for them".

If Argentina are to prevail, Messi must flourish, but the pressure on him is unremitting.

And Klopp would love nothing more than to see tiny Iceland lift the biggest prize in football by winning the World Cup.

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