Lionel Messi has made his predictions for the World Cup following the group stage's finish


Lionel Messi SNUBS England when asked about Argentina’s biggest threats at the World Cup as the superstar forward claims neighbours Brazil are ‘the great favourites’ and heaps praise on France and Spain

Lionel Messi has boldly claimed that Brazil, Spain and France are the three remaining favourites to win the 2022 World Cup.

Messi and his Argentina side have already secured their place in the quarterfinals of the competition after beating Australia 2-1 in the round of 16 – with the PSG forward scoring the opening goal.

However, he hasn’t tipped his own nation for success in Qatar and instead gave a list of three teams that he thinks could win – and there was no space for England on it!

Lionel Messi has made his predictions for the World Cup following the group stage's finish

Lionel Messi has made his predictions for the World Cup following the group stage’s finish

There was no space for England on the forward's list of favourites to win the World Cup

There was no space for England on the forward’s list of favourites to win the World Cup

Brazil - who lost to Argentina in the Copa America final last year - are one of Messi's favourites

Brazil – who lost to Argentina in the Copa America final last year – are one of Messi’s favourites

According to The Mirror, Messi told reporters: ‘We have seen the entire World Cup. The matches that we can, of course. Brazil is playing very well, except for the defeat they had against Cameroon, they continue to be one of the great favourites.

‘Also France. And Spain, despite the manner of their progress (losing against Japan), because they played very well, they are really clear about what he their game is when they have the ball, they control possession for a long time of the game.’

Both Brazil and Spain have fallen to defeats in this year’s World Cup – in their respective final group stage games – yet France remained unbeaten so far. 

Interestingly, England, who were statistically the best performing team in the group stages, were omitted from Messi’s list.

Spain had a turbulent end to the group stages but ultimately have looked strong

Spain had a turbulent end to the group stages but ultimately have looked strong

The PSG forward has tipped France as one of the contenders to win the competition in Qatar

The PSG forward has tipped France as one of the contenders to win the competition in Qatar

Speaking on his own nation’s chances, Messi said: ‘Argentina is a power and is always among the best teams. 

‘We knew that before coming here we were one of the candidates because of what we had been doing and we had to prove it on the pitch. And luckily we have been doing it and hopefully we will continue taking small steps.’

The South American side have had mixed luck in their World Cup campaign so far. After losing to Saudi Arabia in their first match, they’ve won three games in a row, but ultimately looked underwhelming against Australia.

Their quarter-final tie against Holland will prove an interesting fixture given the European outfit are unbeaten in the tournament thus far.

The 35-year-old has provided three goals and one assist during this years World Cup

The 35-year-old has provided three goals and one assist during this years World Cup

Messi also reflected on some of the biggest upsets from this year such as Germany’s group stage elimination.

‘Yes, I was surprised,’ he said. ‘Because they had many important players, a young team and because Germany is always among the best. It is surprising that again in a World Cup they are eliminated in the first round.

‘But this is the World Cup, which shows how difficult it is, how even everything is and that the name of the team no longer matters, but what is seen on the pitch and everything is more and more even.’

Hansi Flick’s side crashed out of the competition after a loss to Japan and a draw to Spain left them too much to do in their final game against Costa Rica.

Germany crashed out of the World Cup in the group stage for the second tournament running

Germany crashed out of the World Cup in the group stage for the second tournament running

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