Where's Messi? Tributes missing in his native Argentina city

Lionel Messi could be headed stateside for a friendly against the United States in October. More

Lionel Messi could be headed stateside for a friendly against the United States in October. More

Two South American sides have warmed up for next month's World Cup in Russian Federation with easy wins, Argentina hammering Haiti 4-0 in Buenos Aires and Australian group opponents Peru overcoming Scotland 2-0 in Lima. But we have players with talent and experience.

Elsewhere, Michael O'Neill saw England's World Cup opponents Panama draw 0-0 with his Northern Ireland team and expects the Gareth Southgate's squad to be "too strong" for the Central Americans next month.

"It's fundamental to start the World Cup well, not go insane thinking about a hypothetical final, and think about it stage by stage".

Argentina are next in action on Friday when taking on Israel, before beginning their World Cup campaign against Iceland on June 16.

Lionel Messi says he is "increasingly sure" Barcelona will be the only club he ever represents in Europe.

Following the match, Messi was quoted by the Argentina Football Association's website as saying: "I have no doubt that we are going to grow". "Qualification [for the World Cup] was not easy but we made it".

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Christian Cueva opened the scoring with a penalty after 37 minutes before Jefferson Farfan doubled Peru's lead with a second two minutes after half-time.

"We can't be thinking about becoming World Cup champions, but about arriving as a group in the best way and generating trust that we lack today because of the situations that we have experienced", he said. We are not candidates but we are very good, training and improving day by day. We can go toe-to-toe with any team. We have to win the first game [against Iceland], that's the most important thing because it will calm things down.

Nigeria, Messi said, are "always tough for us". "This is a lovely opportunity and we're going to give it our all".

Argentina failed to add to their tally but should have been further ahead against Haiti, whose sole appearance at the World Cup finals came in 1974 and are ranked 108th in the world, 103 places below them in the world rankings.

Samuel Marsden covers Barcelona for ESPN FC.

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