Lionel Messi said Argentina should not fear any team at the World Cup but urged fans to keep calm with the tournament in Qatar less than a month away.
Copa America champions Argentina, unbeaten in 35 games since 2019, have been drawn with Saudi Arabia, Mexico and Poland in Group C as they look to win their first World Cup title since 1986.
“We’re doing well today and people are excited and think we’re going to come back with the Cup, but that’s not the case,” Argentina captain Messi told broadcaster Directv Sports.
“The World Cup is very difficult, a lot of things have to happen (to win it), not only that we are doing well, a lot of things that can let you down and there are a lot of teams that want the same thing as us and that are doing good.
We are impatient, we will fight, we are not afraid of anyone, because we are ready to play against anyone, but with calmness.
Argentina opened their 2018 World Cup campaign with a 1-1 draw against Iceland – a game in which Messi missed a penalty – and finished second in their group before being knocked out by eventual winners France in the last 16.
Messi believes the first game against Saudi Arabia on November 22 will be key to the team’s chances.
“In the first minutes of the first match, nerves and anxiety are difficult to control. I think the first game is very important because starting with a win gives you peace of mind,” he said.
“The last World Cup we started with a draw and I’ve always said that if I had scored the penalty and we had won it, we would have changed the whole story.”
Argentina play their final warm-up match against the United Arab Emirates on November 16.