According to Tata Martino Messi won’t win anything in Qatar
Mexico coach Gerardo Martino has picked who he thinks will win the World Cup, and it isn’t his former player Lionel Messi and his native Argentina. Messi scored a stunning goal to help turn Argentina’s campaign around against the Mexicans on Saturday night, when they recovered from their shock defeat to Saudi Arabia in their opening match to win 2-0 and breathe new life into their campaign.
They now go into Wednesday’s final game of the group stage against Poland knowing that a win will send them through as group winners, but Martino – who coached Messi at Barcelona in the 2013-14 season, and at Argentina for two years between 2014 and 2016 – doesn’t see his own country as potential winners.
“Spain are the top candidate for me, and the only one suggesting a football that is entirely different to the others,” said Martino at his press conference before Wednesday’s must-win clash with Saudi Arabia. “The way Spain choose to play means you need to choose to be excellent, they are playing in such an aesthetic way and they are the big candidate for me.”
Spain’s draw with Germany in their last match means they have to wait to secure qualification for the last-16, but a win or draw against Japan in their final game on Thursday will secure their spot. Mexico, meanwhile, face a huge task after picking up just one point and failing to score a goal in both of their matches thus far.
Martino’s side need to beat Saudi Arabia to have any chance of qualification, but only a win by four goals would secure their place in the last-16. “Right now these problems in front of goal are especially serious, because we need to score,” said the former Barcelona and Argentina boss, who has brought Wolves forward Raul Jimenez on as a second half substitute in both of Mexico’s matches. “During the last year, due to different circumstances, we had our attacking players suffer some physical issues.