2018 could be my last World Cup – Messi

Lionel Messi has suggested he won ’ t get another chance if Argentina fail to win the World Cup in Russia this summer , ESPN reports .
The Barcelona forward lost in three straight finals – two Copa Americas and the 2014 World Cup – in a three- year span and has not won a trophy with the senior team .
Messi ’s hat trick at Ecuador in the Albiceleste ’ s 3 -1 win in their final qualifier in October earned his country a spot in this summer ’ s World Cup and again underlined the player ’ s importance to his national side.
Messi and his teammates have had a strained relationship with the Argentine media , feeling unfairly criticised , and he told
La Cornisa TV , “ It’ s just the feeling that this group of players has . It seems that having reached three straight finals didn’ t mean anything . Obviously , we depend on results and unfortunately , we reached three finals and we didn’ t win them .
“ A lot was said about us . The criticisms hurt back then . But the demand is going to be there for this group to get it done . We think that if we don ’ t do it , we are going to get a lot more ( criticism) and we are not going to have another possibility . ”
The pressure led Messi to quit , albeit briefly, from international duty in 2016 , after Argentina lost to Chile in the Copa America final , his third straight with the national team .
“ I’ ve cried many times for lost finals , ” the five -time Ballon d’ Or winner said. “ I cried for not being able to fulfill the dream of our nation . My desire is the same as every Argentine , which is to lift the World Cup . ”
Messi said the 2014 World Cup final defeat to Germany is still an open wound .
“ We know how challenging it is to win a World Cup , ” the 30 -year -old said . “ To win a World Cup is very difficult and we came so close to achieving that dream . Football is full of surprises , not always the best team wins . I ’ ve learned to accept that . I felt we deserved the 2014 World Cup . It was a tough blow . To have been so close , it was painful. ”
Messi is looking ahead to Russia with optimism, however. In their group, the Albiceleste will face Croatia, Iceland and Nigeria.

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