Lionel Messi begins his legacy-defining World Cup with a game against likely the weakest opponent the Argentina star will face in Qatar.
On a 36-match unbeaten run, Argentina opens the group stage on Tuesday against Saudi Arabia the second-lowest-ranked team in the tournament.
It seems like an ideal chance for Messi to push his international goals tally toward a century he currently has 91 in what’s surely a forlorn attempt to catch the leading men’s mark of 117, owned by great rival Cristiano Ronaldo.
How Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni treats Messi for this game in particular, being staged in the 80,000-seat Lusail Iconic Stadium, might be instructive given the captain’s fitness has been managed heading into the World Cup.
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