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Oscar Ruggeri: Lionel Messi Should Only Play One More Game Before World Cup

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The World Cup hero thinks Messi should be focused almost exclusively on Russia

Celta de Vigo v Barcelona - La Liga Photo by Octavio Passos/Getty Images

Argentina World Cup hero Oscar Ruggeri has advised Lionel Messi to play only one more game with Barcelona this season, and rest up for the upcoming FIFA World Cup in Russia.

Ruggeri said he considers the La Liga title “already won,” so following the Copa del Rey final, the player should focus solely on the World Cup. There are five more league matches left after this weekend’s cup final.

“Messi can call Barcelona president and tell him ’this is my World Cup; I’m going to dedicate myself to the national team,’” the former Boca Juniors, River Plate, and San Lorenzo defender told 90 Minutes Fox.

Ruggeri won the 1986 edition with Diego Maradona, a player Messi has often been compared to.

“Before Mexico 1986 we had 65 days to focus,” he continued on, “65 days before the World Cup we were all together. What do you think the rest of the players are going to do if Messi goes with the coach?”

Following Atlético Madrid’s loss to Real Sociedad, FC Barcelona need to win only one more game of the remaining five to win the title. Barça can also be crowned champions by drawing three of the five.