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Mar 19, 2014

Lionel Messi holds no fear for Keshi

Nigeria head coach Stephen Keshi claims that he is not worried about the prospect of facing Argentina’s Lionel Messi in Group F at the World Cup.

Stephen Keshi's Nigeria remain masters of their own destiny in World Cup qualification
Stephen Keshi is focused on Argentina, not Messi.

• Corrigan: Messi's best goals

Messi this week broke Barcelona’s all-time scoring record when he hit a hat trick against Osasuna to take his tally to 371 goals in 453 games for the club. He is tipped to lead Argentina’s charge to the World Cup trophy in Brazil this summer, but Keshi is not thinking about one player above any other when they clash on June 25 in Porto Alegre.

“Messi is probably the best footballer in the world but we cannot lose sleep about him because there will be 10 others on the pitch that day,” Keshi told Supersport.

“I didn’t feel bad about the fact that we will play against Argentina in the group stages because even if we didn’t draw them, we would have met teams like, Spain, Germany, Brazil or England.

“We have been drawn against Argentina. There’s nothing we can do about that. We just have to get ourselves ready.”

Nigeria, who won the 2013 African Nations Cup last year, face Iran at the Arena da Baixada, Curitiba on June 16, then Bosnia-Herzegovina in their second game at the Arena Pantanal, Cuiaba, before finishing off against Argentina.

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