Argentine captain, Lionel Messi has given his list of eight players he believes will shine in the FIFA 2018 World Cup in Russia – interestingly, he didn’t mention his rival, Cristiano Ronaldo.
The Barcelona icon, who widely has been regarded as the greatest to ever play the game, remains frustrated by a lack of success on the global stage with Argentina.
At 30 years old, Messi’s opportunities to lift the trophy are running out and Jorge Sampaoli’s side are viewed as outsiders summer in Russia.
Brazil are the favourites for the title and Messi believes Neymar and Philippe Coutinho could take the tournament by storm.
However, the forward failed to mention Portugal and Real Madrid superstar, Cristiano Ronaldo when asked who he thinks will impress.
‘Brazil have Ney and Philippe,’ he told El Mundo Deportivo.
Messi named Andres Iniesta, David Silva, Eden Hazard, Kevin De Bruyne, Antoine Griezmann and Kylian Mbappe as the other players to watch this summer.
‘Spain have Andres Iniesta and Silva. Germany don’t have any one star but they are very solid.
‘Belgium have Hazard and De Bruyne. France have Griezmann and Mbappe.
‘The tournament is full of very good players.’
Messi will be hoping to lead his side to a third World Cup glory in Russia having lost out in the finals in the 2014 edition in Brazil.
Argentina will kick off their campaign against Iceland before battling Croatia and Nigeria in group D.