Marvellous Messi

5 reasons why Argentina will win the World Cup

They haven’t been champions since 1986, here’s why this can be their year for glory.

No wonder Messi is smiling, he's thinking of celebrating World Cup glory. AP / Press Association Images AP / Press Association Images / Press Association Images

1. They’ve got Messi in their ranks

The boy Lionel can play a bit. In 276 appearances for Barcelona, he’s netted a staggering 243 times. For Argentina, he’s grabbed 38 goals from 86 caps and with 19 goals in his last 21 games for his country, there is evidence that he has started to stamp his authority on the international stage.

An irrepressible talent who can shape the outcome of games on his own, Messi will be eager to make this World Cup his own. After Argentina’s disappointing exits at the quarter-final stage in his previous two tournaments, this is his chance to shine and ensure he deserves to be mentioned in the same bracket as Maradona.

2. The rest of the attack contains plenty class as well

Argentina’s attack does not just focus around Messi’s contributions. He’s supported by Sergio Aguero and Gonzalo Higuain, a duo that ensure Argentina’s explosive triumvirate will frighten every single side in the competition.

Even with injuries hampering him at stages, Aguero still scored 28 goals for Manchester City last season while Higuain’s debut campaign with Napoli saw him strike 17 goals. Any team that can afford to leave Carlos Tevez at home has to be reckoned with. The form and potential impact of Angel Di Maria adds another lethal weapon to Argentina’s attacking armoury.

Copa America Argentina Uruguay Gonzalo Higuain and Sergio Aguero help Argentina form a lethal attack. AP / Press Association Images AP / Press Association Images / Press Association Images

3. The draw is favourable

With a group that contains Bosnia and Herzegovina, Iran and Nigeria, Argentina look to have landed on their feet. Considering the difficulties facing teams in Group B – where Spain, Netherlands and Chile face off – and Group D which contains England, Uruguay and Italy, Argentina should profit from the lack of any other heavyweight presence.

Their richly talented squad should see them top Group F. From there they will face at the last sixteen stage the runner-up in Group E – France, Switzerland, Honduras and Ecuador – and that should be a hurdle they can negotiate and book a last eight berth. At that point with confidence rising, they can make their charge for the finish line.

4. There’ll be plenty motivation to succeed

Argentina haven’t won the World Cup since 1986 and haven’t featured in a final or a semi-final since 1990. There’s been hard luck stories since like the 1998 quarter-final when they were undone by Bergkamp’s genius and the 2006 quarter-final when they lost out on penalties to Germany.

Suffering a 4-0 hiding against Germany was an ignominious manner in which to bow out of contention in South Africa four years ago. Their defensive frailties were exposed in that game but they weren’t helped by manager Diego Maradona’s approach.  The more pragmatic Alejandro Sabella has helped an improvement in fortunes and their defence looks more reliable. This group of players must be determined to gain success in the international arena after a barren spell.

Argentina Trinidad and Tobago WCup Soccer Argentinian boss Alejandro Sabella. AP / Press Association Images AP / Press Association Images / Press Association Images

5. Based in their native continent will be a help

While the likes of England and other European nations have to figure out how their players will cope in the sapping heat and had to meticulously plan their build-up in order to allow the players to acclimatize, Argentina don’t have such concerns.

With the World Cup being staged in a neighbouring country, they will be accustomed to operating in such weather conditions. There’s a reason why themselves and Brazil are to the fore in the betting markets but with the hosts under ferocious pressure, Argentina can time their run for glory to perfection.

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