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Lionel Messi dreaming of World Cup final in Rio

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Lionel Messi has admitted ahead of his country's last 16 meeting with Switzerland that he would relish a final date with Argentina's old rivals and hosts Brazil in Rio de Janeiro. 

Both sides have been kept apart in the draw, and any potential meeting between the two will be in the final on July 13 at the stunning Maracana - a ground Messi has already netted in this tournament during their opening match with Bosnia & Herzegovina.

Final showdown

That clearly was not enough for the Barcelona wizard, and after witnessing Luiz Felipe Scolari's men progress by the skin of their teeth in a penalty shootout against fellow South American's Chile, Messi is desperate to face their old foes in the final. 

He said: “I’d be lying to say that it wouldn’t be very special. Brazil against Argentina in the final at the Maracana - that would be some dream, wouldn’t it?

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“You can only imagine how much the people back home in Argentina would love it if we could beat Brazil – it would be talked about forever.

“I know the passion of our people, and they have just as much love for football as the Brazilians do, it is fantastic. We should have a lot of fans in Brazil, too, so hopefully our games can feel like home matches, even though they aren’t."

Golden Boot race

Messi is currently one goal behind Colombia's James Rodriguez in the race for the tournament's Golden Boot, having found the net in every game so far - including two in his last outing versus Nigeria. 

They took his international goal-scoring tally to 42, and have gone some way in easing the pressure on him when he pulls on the Argentinian jersey, with many critical of his failure to replicate his record-breaking form at club level on the international stage. 

However, with a relatively comfortable tie against a Swiss side thrashed 5-2 by the French in the group stages, the 26-year-old star man is eager to add to his tally - but only to help his country's cause, and not for personal success. 

“I like to score goals, and if I could get the Golden Boot, it would be something very special for me. But more importantly, it would mean that Argentina are doing well," added Messi.

“The team of the Golden Boot winner usually makes it to the semi finals or further, and that is what we want. But I would happily not score any goals and swap that for a World Cup."

Past history

The Argentine's, embarrassed 4-0 by Germany four years ago in the quarter finals in South Africa, have been widely tipped to lift their third World Cup title and first since 1986.

And, if Messi can continue to be the inspirational captain he was throughout the group phase, his dream of facing the hosts in their own backyard may well become a reality - with Brazil seemingly destined to make the final despite failing to impress in their own tournament so far. 

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Topics:
Brazil Football
Lionel Messi
World Cup
Argentina Football
Football

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This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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