Argentina must lessen burden on Messi during World Cup, says Guzman
KONFRONTASI - The goalkeeper of the Argentina men’s national football team, nicknamed La Albiceleste, says professional footballer Lionel Messi needs to be well-supported by his teammates in case the South American squad plans to emerge victorious at the 2018 Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) World Cup in Russia.
Speaking at the news conference on Wednesday, Nahuel Guzman said Argentine footballers should lessen the burden on Messi, who plays as a forward for Spanish club Barcelona.
“Of course Leo is a very important figure to us. We have to know how to be with him. He has to let us too. And we have to somehow take away the responsibility he already has. He feels it too,” Guzman said.
He added, “We also have several figures to be a friend to him and make him feel good.”
“I'll try to be with him at any moment. I will try to lift him up if I see he's doubtful. And we hope to be able to celebrate, next to him, each game. We have to be calm that Leo's fine,” Guzman pointed out.
Argentina is pitted against Iceland, Croatia and Nigeria in Group D in the preliminary round of the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
The Argentina men’s national football team (Photo by FIFA)
The Iran men's national football team, nicknamed Team Melli, has joined the Portugal national football team, nicknamed A Selecção, Spain’s La Furia Roja and Atlas Lions of Morocco in Group B.
The host nation, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Uruguay form Group A in the quadrennial international sports event.
France is drawn in Group C, and will play Australia, Peru and Denmark.
Group E consists of Brazil, Switzerland, Costa Rica and Serbia.
While the 2014 FIFA World Cup champion Germany, Mexico, Sweden and South Korea shape Group F, Belgium, Panama, Tunisia and England are in Group G.
Group H has Poland, Senegal, Colombia and Japan.
The 2018 FIFA World Cup will take place from June 14 to July 15. Russia will open the event against Saudi Arabia in a Group A fixture at Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium.
A total of 64 matches will be played in 12 venues located in 11 cities.
Argentina will start its World Cup campaign against Iceland at Otkritie Arena in Moscow on June 16.[PTV]