I hope football does end up paying me in 2018: Messi

Germany v Argentina: 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Final

The "wounds" of 2014 will probably never heal, admits Lionel Messi but the Argentine superstar is hopeful that 2018 will bring with it the World Cup that football "owes" him. Among the greatest of the game, the 30-year-old Barcelona icon has still not forgotten the heart-breaking 1-0 loss to Germany in the 2014 World Cup final.

"I don't know if they are ever going to heal. We are just going to have to live with it. It is going to be there forever. The World Cup is a very happy memory and a bitter one too because of how it ended, how it all worked out. But it's always going to be there," Messi said in an interview to 'FIFA.com'.
Argentina went on to lose a couple of Copa America finals to Chile after that, fuelling the criticism that Messi has under-achieved with the national team.

But the touch artist silenced his critics by single- handedly guiding an under-performing Argentina to the 2018 World Cup main draw. Reminded of that statement, Messi came up with a cheeky response. "Yes, I did hear it, and he said it to me too. I hope football does end up paying me!" he said.

Messi shudders to think what he would have done, had the team not qualified. "It was very important because missing out on the World Cup would have been a huge blow, firstly for the squad as a whole and then for me on a personal level. I don't know how I would have taken it. The same goes for the people of Argentina. Failing to make Russia would have been an all-time low for the country," he said.