With the 2022 FIFA World Cup entering its business end, Argentina captain and icon Lionel Messi has named his favourites to go all the way.
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On Saturday, La Albiceleste narrowly progressed to the World Cup's quarter-finals after they triumphed over Australia 2-1 at the Ahmad bin Ali Stadium.
Goals from skipper Messi and Julian Alvarez either side of half-time ensured Lionel Scaloni's men progress to the last eight of the competition, having been eliminated at the round of 16 stage by eventual winners France in 2018.
Australia, along with Japan, Senegal, United States of America, Poland and South Korea have now all been eliminated from the global showpiece as the tournament frontrunners begin to emerge.
When asked who he thinks, of the remaining 10 teams, are most likely in contention to lift the famous gold trophy, Messi named three of his favourites, noticeably leaving out England and his famous rival Cristiano Ronaldo's Portugal.
"We have seen the entire World Cup, The matches that we can, of course," he explained to reporters, as per the Daily Mirror.
"Brazil is playing very well, except for the defeat they had against Cameroon, they continue to be one of the great favourites.
"Also France. And Spain, despite the manner of their progress (losing against Japan), because they played very well, they are really clear about what their game is when they have the ball, they control possession for a long time of the game."
Messi, who scored his first World Cup knockout stage goal against the Socceroos, also evaluated his own team's chances of winning the competition for the first time in 36 years.
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"Argentina is a power and is always among the best teams," he added.
"We knew that before coming here we were one of the candidates because of what we had been doing and we had to prove it on the pitch.
"And luckily we have been doing it and hopefully we will continue taking small steps."
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