Messi gets pissed off if not given the ball - Xavi

Messi gets pissed off if not given the ball - Xavi

Messi gets pissed off if not given the ball - Xavi

The Albiceleste captain will be hoping to lead his team to qualification, especially after the heartbreak he suffered following the World Cup final defeat to Germany in 2014.

La Nacion was slightly more upbeat, refusing to rule out a happy ending: "Drama right to the end".

And Xavi has moved to support his former team-mate, warning both Barca and Argentina they must keep Messi involved or risk the star getting annoyed. "But we will go out determined to take a win because that is our mentality".

However, they have drawn their past three qualifiers and their recent record in Ecuadorian capital Quito, which is 2,900m above sea level, is poor, losing two out of their past three and drawing the other.

However, with just four points covering second-placed Uruguay to Paraguay in seventh, the race for Russian Federation is set to go down to the wire next week when the final round of qualifiers kick off simultaneously at 12.30am on Wednesday.

Bolivia, Venezuela and Ecuador have all been eliminated. And even if they lose, their goal difference is good enough to virtually guarantee them a place at the World Cup next summer.

Failure to qualify would further complicate Messi's messy relationship with his home country.

After missing chance after chance against Peru, Lionel Messi looked skyward as if seeking divine intervention.

"I remain confident we'll be in the World Cup", Sampaoli added. We just missed a goal.

However, they have been blessed with superstars like Lionel Messi, who will be under vast pressure to score goals.

Thursday's goalless draw against Peru leaves Lionel Messi and his beleaguered band of brothers in need of a positive result in the drowning altitude of Quito on Tuesday; failure to do so would make the seemingly impossible, a reality.

Another effort by Gomez was too high, while a curling shot by Messi approaching half time would have been artful had it found the back of the net.

Argentina's players jog during a training session in Ezeiza, Buenos Aires.

While they're concentrating on the job at hand, La Nacion had a damning verdict about their performances, likening them to "someone drowning".

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