Mon 21 November 2022 | 19:18

Messi in ‘good condition’ ahead of the Saudi Arabia clash

The Argentine mega star announced that he is in good shape for the World Cup opener, dispelling any doubts over his fitness.

Lionel Messi, the PSG star, faced the press on Monday to speak about his fifth and possibly final World Cup and admitted that he is in a good place both physically and mentally.

There was some concern from Argentinian fans over Messi’s fitness after he missed one of

Argentina

’s training sessions but Messi soon snuffed out those rumors, saying: "

I am feeling very well physically, I'm in good condition. I come here in really good form, both personally and physically. I have no issues whatsoever.

"There were rumours about missing part of training, but no, it was just a precaution, nothing out of the ordinary."

He continued by talking about his last chance to win the World Cup all the while presenting a relaxed figure to the press.

"I don’t know if it’s the best moment in my career but I feel really well and perhaps a bit more mature, always trying to give my best and enjoying everything.”

Messi added.

"I think I’m enjoying it much more now. Before I didn’t think about that, I just wanted to play. Now I am trying to enjoy it, but when you play every three days it's sometimes tough.

"Age makes you see things differently, and maybe give more importance to small details. Perhaps before I didn't do that. Now I try to focus on the details and enjoying it is more important than everything else."

Although the timing of this World Cup has been different, Messi feels that the pressure to perform remains the same.

"It is different, we usually play the World Cup at the end of the season and we normally have a whole month to prepare.

"Now it's completely different. We've had little time to prepare, but we knew this was the situation. It's always special.

"We expect a tough game, we are aware of this because it's the beginning of the World Cup. We will have to deal with the nerves the best way we can."

Manager Lionel Scaloni also pointed out Argentina’s recent Copa America title, which has given his team the belief and the confidence needed to challenge for the World Cup.

"The reality is we now play in a much more calm way, we don’t have that weight on our shoulders.”

Scaloni said.

"We are always calm when we go on the pitch and like to feel that freedom. And then it comes down to details. Emotionally we are far more assured and that allows us to play our football.

"But a nation like Argentina always has pressure and if the results are not the best it's obvious that we have criticism.

"We knew about the journey we had to take and we need to keep doing that. We think that’s the best way to do it. We respect the other teams, but we are here to be competitive."

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