To make sure you never miss out on your favourite NEW stories, we're happy to send you some reminders

Click 'OK' then 'Allow' to enable notifications

Not now
OK

Lionel Messi names England among his five favourite teams to win the 2022 World Cup

Adnan Riaz

Published 
| Last updated 

Lionel Messi names England among his five favourite teams to win the 2022 World Cup

Lionel Messi has refused to rule out England as one of the favourites to win the World Cup in Qatar, despite their recent run of poor form under Gareth Southgate.

England manager Southgate came under scathing criticism after the Three Lions suffered a crushing 4-0 defeat to Hungary in the Nations League in June.

And the pressure has mounted on Southgate ahead of the tournament in Qatar after Italy knocked England out of the Nations League in September.

Loading…

Southgate, who is under contract with the FA until 2024, eased some pressure on his shoulders after leading England to a thrilling 3-3 draw with Germany last month.

Messi has his eyes on capturing the coveted World Cup trophy in what could be his final appearance in a major international tournament.

Argentina captain Lionel Messi lifted the 2021 Copa America trophy after leading his side to a 1-0 win over Brazil in the final. Credit: Alamy
Argentina captain Lionel Messi lifted the 2021 Copa America trophy after leading his side to a 1-0 win over Brazil in the final. Credit: Alamy

Argentina have recuperated from their lacklustre 2018 World Cup campaign as Messi lifted his first major silverware with his country at the 2021 Copa America.

Speaking to RMC Sport, the 35-year-old Paris Saint-Germain superstar named England among his World Cup favourites alongside the likes of Germany and Spain.

However, Messi believes that current World Cup champions France and Argentina’s South American rivals Brazil are the top two contenders to lift the trophy.

READ MORE:

“As for the favourites, there are big teams like Brazil, Germany, France, England and Spain. And I’m sure I’m forgetting some,” he said.

England manager Gareth Southgate led the Three Lions to the semi-finals of the 2018 World Cup. Credit: Alamy
England manager Gareth Southgate led the Three Lions to the semi-finals of the 2018 World Cup. Credit: Alamy

“But if I have to keep one or two, today I think Brazil and France are the two big candidates for this World Cup.”

Southgate, 52, led England to the World Cup semi-finals in Russia in 2018 before Croatia dumped the Three Lions out in a 2-1 win.

The England manager fell short of leading his side to their first major honour since the 1966 World Cup after their defeat to Italy in the final of Euro 2020.

Despite England’s current disappointing run of form, the under-fire Southgate believes he is still the right man to lead the Three Lions into the World Cup.

“Look, I think that’s currently where it is and I have to accept that,” he said in September.

Gareth Southgate with England captain Harry Kane. Credit: Alamy
Gareth Southgate with England captain Harry Kane. Credit: Alamy

“I think I’m the right person to take the team into the tournament. I think it’s more stable that way, without a doubt.

READ MORE:

“I don’t think [the] performance [against Italy] was far off and I know that’s going to get derision just because we’re on the back of a run of defeats.

“But I’ve got to separate the summer and the circumstances around the summer from [this match].”

England kick off their World Cup campaign by facing Iran in their opening Group B fixture on 21st November.

Featured Image Credit: Paris Saint-Germain's YouTube/Alamy

Topics: Lionel Messi, Football World Cup, Brazil, Germany, France, England, Spain

Adnan Riaz
More like this

Chosen for YouChosen for You

Football

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang offered escape route out of Chelsea thanks to 'loophole' that will allow him to play for third club this season

21 minutes ago

Most Read StoriesMost Read

The possible sanctions Man City could face include EXPULSION from the league and stripping of titles

5 hours ago