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Messi eager to add World Cup to his collection

The Argentina captain's standing in the game has been questioned, with suggestions that he needs to win the showpiece event to be considered among the greats.

Messi, who has won the FIFA World Player of the Year award three times, aspires to lift the World Cup, just like club team-mates Xavi, Andres Iniesta, Gerard Pique, Cesc Fabregas and Sergio Busquets, among others.

"I want to win the World Cup, but not just so that I can change people's opinion of me. I want to add the World Cup to the list of trophies I have won," he told ESPN.

"I envy my Spanish friends, I wish I were in their place having already won the tournament."

Messi, whose Argentina side face Bosnia-Herzegovina, Iran and Nigeria in Group F, confessed that all he wanted was to enjoy playing the game.

"The only important thing for me is to play football," he said.

"I have always done that since I was a boy, and I will continue to do that now.

"I've always said that I when I stopped enjoying this sport I would stop playing. I play because I enjoy it."

Messi was unwilling to single out a player for his strongest opponent, instead pointing out several – including team-mates.

"My strongest opponent? There's Neymar, Iniesta, Xavi, Cristiano (Ronaldo), (Arjen) Robben and (Franck) Ribery, I don't want to single out anyone," he added.