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Lionel Messi sends Argentina message as World Cup defence begins

Argentina began their defence of the World Cup on Thursday.

Lionel Messi’s side won the 2022 World Cup at the end of last year.

They have since gone unbeaten in their five matches since then, all while not conceding a single goal.

Their latest outing kicked off the South American qualifiers for the 2026 World Cup.

Argentina faced off with Ecuador and picked up a 1-0 win thanks to a 78th-minute free-kick from Lionel Messi.

The no.10 has since spoken out about the game:

“It was shown in the two friendlies and today, by the points, that this group is not going to relax beyond what it achieved. It was historic, extraordinary,” captain Messi said postgame. “We know that if we go down a little they will pass us over. There are going to be tough matches like this. Defeats, surely. We have to be as we are now, with our feet on the ground. Fight every game as we have been fighting since Scaloni started with All this”.

The 36-year-old then stressed the importance of acknowledging that ‘everybody wants to beat Argentina’: “Now that we are world champions, even more. That’s why we can’t go down. We even have to go up a little more than we were doing. The demand in each game is maximum and, surely more and more.”

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Josh Barker

Middlesbrough fan from the North East of England. @JoshBarker979 on Twitter.

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