My generation will disappear if we fail at World Cup – Messi

Lionel Messi after Argetina lost Copa America 2016 to Chile

Argentina skipper, Lionel Messi, has declared that his entire generation may be forced to retire if they fail to overcome Nigeria and other sides to win the FIFA World Cup in Russia.

The Super Eagles, for the fifth time, stand between the South Americans and their third global title.

Iceland and Croatia are the other teams in Group D.

Messi, whose stature was recently vandalised in his homeland, is under serious pressure to lead his country to success.

And the Barcelona superstar reckons the monstrous task which lies ahead for him and his teammates in Russia.

“We have to improve if we must aspire to be world champions. Today we are some distance from being champions, but there is time for us to prepare,” the five-time Ballon d’Or winner told TyC Sports.

“Brazil is very good, Spain has great players, Germany is strong, France has a good team – today they are all at a higher level than us.

“People are waiting for this group to leave because it has not won for a long time and those who criticise get tired of always seeing the same faces.

“I think it’s the last opportunity for this group. There is a lot of excitement.

“If we do badly, the entire national team will have to disappear. It’s going to be very difficult for anyone to continue because we have already been here for a number of years.

“I never went over the previous finals. What I have are memories.

“We were worthy of winning them because, without having played well, we had the clearest [chances] – both in the World Cup and the Copas America.

“I would have to review them to see what we did wrong so we don’t repeat them. I think we deserved to win two, at least.”

Nigeria and Argentina will lock horns on June 26 inside the Krestovsky Stadium, St. Petersburg in the last group game.