Messi deserves to win a World Cup, says Peru coach



Peru's Argentinian coach Ricardo Gareca has expressed hope that his compatriot Lionel Messi will one day win the World Cup.

Five-time Ballon d'Or winner Messi has said that this year's World Cup - to be played in Russia from June 14 to July 15 - will be his last chance to win football's flagship tournament.

Gareca doesn't share that view but he agrees that time is running out for the 30-year-old Barcelona player.

"I would like to see Messi win a World Cup because I consider him to be the best in the world," Gareca was quoted as saying by AS. "I don't think this will be his last chance but it will be one of the last."

Gareca, a former forward who won 20 caps for Argentina in the 1980s, became a national hero in Peru last November by guiding the Blanquirroja to their first World Cup finals since 1982.

Despite Argentina's erratic recent results - which included a 6-1 loss to Spain in a friendly last month - Gareca backed the Albiceleste to rebound under coach Jorge Sampaoli.

"Argentina have changed their coach three times [since 2016] which is not normal," Gareca said.

"He [Sampaoli] will have time before the World Cup to implement his style and ideas. He is a great manager who is in a difficult situation."

Peru have been drawn in the same World Cup group as France, Australia and Denmark while Argentina's first-stage opponents will be Iceland, Croatia and Nigeria.