Messi grabs hat-trick as Argentina canter to 4-0 win

Messi grabs hat-trick as Argentina canter to 4-0 win

A makeshift and inexperienced Scotland side were beaten but not disgraced in their 2-0 loss to World Cup-bound Peru at the frenzied Estadio Nacional in Lima.

Asked if Argentina could win the World Cup, Messi swerved between hope and realism.

"We have players with talent and experience. Brazil are one. Spain, Germany... they're some of the best teams right now".

Argentina has been allotted a place in a competitive Group D alongside the likes of Iceland, Croatia and Nigeria.

Messi is also glad he chose to play for Argentina, rather than Spain, in his worldwide career even though he would nearly certainly be a World Cup and dual European Championship victor if he had chosen differently. Argentina play Haiti on Tuesday in Buenos Aires and Israel on June 9 in Jerusalem in their two warm up games.

In an interview with ElTrece, Messi said: "The other day I was speaking with a my friend, and he told me, 'Look, if you had stayed with Spain, you would be world champion.' But it would not have been the same".

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The Albiceleste struggled to hit the heights which carried them to three successive finals in qualifying for this summer's World Cup, though, needing a Messi hat trick to beat Ecuador as they booked their place in Russian Federation in their final match.

"More than the result we were able to say goodbye to our fans", Messi added.

Messi has now revealed he was first approached to play for Spain when he was on tour in Finland with the Blaugrana, but already he had his heart set on playing for his country of birth. To win it with Argentina would be something unique'. I was 16 years old and, half in jest and half serious, the coach of the U17s put it to me.

"We all go to Russian Federation for the same reason, the World Cup is the dream of us, of the country".

"It happened in Finland, and Cesc (Fabregas) was my teammate at the time".

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