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Lionel Messi can carry Argentina on his shoulders, says Jorge Sampaoli

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Argentina Training Session Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Argentina coach Jorge Sampaoli has been talking Lionel Messi as he prepares his team for international friendles against Italy and Spain.

All eyes will be on Messi at the World Cup this summer to see if he can guide Argentina to World Cup glory.

Sampaoli says that Messi can carry the team as they seek to lift the Jules Rimet trophy for the first time since 1986.

“This is going to be his team,” he said. “He is the best of all and is in a stage of maturity that can he can carry the team on his shoulders. This is going to be his team.

“Everyone gives us a leading role in the World Cup and my obligation is to increase that, to try to make the rivals fear us even more, today Argentina is very respected,” he said.

”I see that the commitment of the players improves all the time, also the commitment for the idea, the players know they have to attack.”

Source | ESPN

Argentina face Italy at the Etihad Stadium on Friday and then face Spain at the Wanda Metropolitano on Tuesday.

They’ve been drawn in Group D for the World Cup finals and will face Croatia, Iceland and Nigeria.