Lionel Messi lobbies for Gonzalo Higuain return to Argentina side

Barcelona's Spanish forward Paco Alcacer celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal during the UEFA Champions League football match FC Barcelona vs Sporting CP at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona

Messi said: "Mascherano? I'm not going to tell you what he told me, but I'll understand if he leaves, he wants to play more".

One player who has already announced his intention to end his Argentina career after the World Cup is Messi's Barcelona team-mate Javier Mascherano.

As well as losing to Germany in the 2014 World Cup final, Argentina were also defeated by Chile in successive Copa America finals in 2015 and 2016.

It was Argentina's third major final defeat in as many years, and Messi said at the time, per BBC Sport: "For me, the national team is over". It's hard for me not to play or to be subbed off, but I realised and understood that it was for the best.

Argentina have been drawn in Group D at the World Cup alongside Iceland, Croatia and Nigeria.

"I never went over the previous finals".

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He subsequently reversed his decision and will be the linchpin of a talented Argentina side as they aim to win the World Cup next year.

"It's nice to see how different they are from each other".

They moved early, as Messi would have been able to speak to City in the New Year if he had not signed a new deal.

Messi and his team mates have had a tumultuous relationship with the Argentine media, boycotting them 12-months ago due to what the national team perceived as unfair treatment.

The Argentine worldwide footballer will now play for Barca until 2021. "But right here I believe we should have won at least two of them". We spoke about it through messages, it was a good thing that he had this period of absence.

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