Neymar & Leo Messi rumours emerge ahead of Brazil & Argentina games

Lynette Rowe
October 11, 2017

The scenarios for how each team can qualify for the World Cup are many.

That result promoted Messi to quit global football, fearing he might be responsible for his country's jinx.

This time around, Uruguay can feel confident barring a spectacular collapse, they'll be in the 2018 World Cup without needing to go to the intercontinental playoff. We are going to do what is most important for us, for the dignity of a people.

Ecuador had a solid run in this CONMEBOL region, now eighth with 20 points but its World Cup aspirations are already over. That would be disaster for a number of reasons, as it would mean Lionel Messi will not be playing in Russian Federation.

But all eyes will be on Quito to see whether Russian Federation 2018 will be a World Cup that is played without one of the world's most glamorous teams and one of the sport's best players. It is nearly unthinkable but it could very well happen. The fifth placed side, now Peru, qualify for a play-off against Oceania champions, New Zealand. And while they could easily be considered favourites thanks to an impressive collection of talent - led by Lionel Messi, Paulo Dybala and Angel Di Maria - nothing suggests they should be treated as such. And that was after Messi had one of his better games for the country.

But two of them will miss out altogether.

"Our situation is not very comfortable, but it depends on us". It would really be unfair if a group that put it all out there like they did does not advance.

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"We're not anxious about the other games".

Jorge Sampaoli's Argentina (25 points) are sixth following last week's goalless draw with Peru, but a win over Ecuador would see them rise above Colombia (26) or Peru (25), who are due to meet in Lima.

In addition, a Brazil victory against Chile could aid Argentina in possibly grabbing an automatic qualification spot. The bad news is that they have not won at the Estadio Olimpico Atahualpa in the Ecuadorian capital of Quito, which stands 2,782 meters above sea level, since 2001.

Entering a stadium where they have won only once, Argentina lie outside World Cup qualification, or even a play-off place, and that is with the peerless Lionel Messi, plus Sergio Aguero, Gonzalo...

The 30-year-old five-time Ballon D'Or victor also heads into the game knowing that next year's finals in Russian Federation may be his final chance to emulate Diego Maradona by winning a World Cup.

"The only ones who would be happy if Messi doesn't go to the World Cup would be Maradona fans because, that way, they can keep saying that he's the best", the 63-year-old added.

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