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Argentina's World Cup woes

Five Aside
 By Chris Wright

Lionel Messi will need 23 Argentina shirts to satisfy Iceland's World Cup demands

The ESPN FC crew discuss World Cup Group D, which includes Argentina, Iceland, Nigeria and Croatia.

Rather than being intimidated, it would appear that Iceland were positively thrilled at the prospect of making their World Cup debut against Argentina in Group D next summer.

Indeed, Iceland right-back Diego Johannesson has warned Lionel Messi to prepare himself for an onslaught when the two teams meet in Moscow on June. 16 -- if only because the Barcelona star is going to have to bring an awful lot of souvenirs with him.

Johannesson, who was born in Spain and plays for Real Oviedo, has instructed...

 By Nick Miller

World Cup Group D: Argentina, Iceland, Croatia, Nigeria

The ESPN FC crew discuss whether Lionel Messi and Argentina have the toughest World Cup group.

Intriguing can be a pejorative word in football, because so often it just means: "Dull, but I'm pretending to be interested on an intellectual level."

But this genuinely could be the most intriguing group of the first round. You have Lionel Messi's (probable) last attempt at international greatness, the unpredictability of a Croatia side who sacked their coach before their playoffs, the possibility that tiny Iceland could repeat their Euro 2016 heroics and a fresh and exciting Nigeria side.


ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Trending: Aguero faints in Argentina loss; Maradona wants return

Alex Iwobi scored twice as Nigeria came from behind to defeat a Messi-less Argentina 4-2 in Krasnodar.
Lionel Messi speaks exclusively to ESPN about his future with Argentina leading up to, and after, the World Cup in Russia.

Wednesday's latest stories from the world of football in ESPN FC's What's Trending ...

ARGENTINASergio Aguero was taken to hospital after fainting at half-time of Argentina's friendly defeat to Nigeria in Russia on Tuesday, but he has been cleared to return to Manchester City.

Diego Maradona stated his desire to have another coaching opportunity with the Argentina national team, after Tuesday's 4-2 defeat in a friendly against Nigeria.


ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Lionel Messi and wife Antonella Roccuzzo expecting their third child

The life of Lionel Messi continues to improve.

After a legendary performance that carried Argentina into the World Cup finals on Tuesday, the Barcelona superstar and his wife have announced they are expecting their third child.

Antonella Roccuzzo shared the wonderful news on Sunday with an Instagram picture of herself and the five-time Ballon d'Or winner with their children, Mateo and Thiago.

Familia de 5❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ #blessed

A post shared by AntoRoccuzzo88 (@antoroccuzzo88) on

All four have a hand on her T-shirt, over her belly.

The post is tagged, "Familia de 5 #blessed," with a...

 By Chris Wright

Lionel Messi has name emblazoned across new custom boots

On the back of dragging Argentina to a World Cup, the one and only Lionel Messi has been furnished with a brand new pair of custom football boots with which to continue weaving his magic.

Adidas recently rolled out their new "Pyro Storm" boot pack, which sees the brand's signature boot lines redressed with a dazzling orange colourway to be sported by mere mortals such as Luis Suarez and Mesut Ozil in the coming weeks.

However, Messi is a class apart and as such, the Barcelona star has been bestowed...

 By Chris Wright

Pochettino fell asleep as Lionel Messi dragged Argentina into World Cup

After Ecuador scored in the first minute, Lionel Messi took over and scored three goals to punch Argentina's World Cup ticket.
The FC crew debate how much a World Cup should factor into Lionel Messi's standing among the greatest players of all time.
Max Bretos and Herculez Gomez evaluate Lionel Messi's impact on Argentina's qualification for the World Cup.
U2 front man Bono saluted Lionel Messi following his match winning performance against Ecuador.

While most of those watching the heroic exploits of Lionel Messi were transfixed, at least one member of the audience for Argentina's World Cup-salvaging win over Ecuador struggled to maintain interest.

That man was Tottenham manager (and former Albiceleste international) Mauricio Pochettino, who has admitted that he "fell asleep" before Messi scored a match-winning hat trick to haul his country from the brink of elimination and into the hat for Russia 2018.

Still, the prospect of Argentina's do-or-die...