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May 6, 2014

Lionel Messi ready to deliver in Brazil

ESPN's Jeremy Schaap sits down with Argentina captain Lionel Messi to discuss the Albiceleste's chances at the World Cup.

Lionel Messi has told E:60 he is confident he can finally shine at the World Cup this summer as he looks to captain Argentina to glory.

Vickery: Sabella's attacking approach

Messi has enjoyed great success with Barcelona as well as helping Argentina to the Under-20 World Cup title in 2005 and gold at the Olympics three years later, but the 26-year-old has yet to truly deliver in the game's most prestigious competition.

He had limited involvement in 2006, scoring one goal as Jose Pekerman's side exited at the quarterfinal stage, and although he was a key figure in Diego Maradona's 2010 team, he was unable to add to his World Cup tally as Argentina's campaign ended with a shock 4-0 defeat to Germany after reaching the last eight.

Asked whether he expects to play a different role under Alejandro Sabella in Brazil this summer, he said: "Well, it is four years later. I am more confident, as you would expect, with more experience.

"Having experienced two World Cups, now I am the captain of this national team. Even though I've said before that wearing the captain's band doesn't change how I interact with my teammates on the pitch or off it, wearing the band is something very special. But, oh well, we will try to give everything to achieve the objective that those of us from Argentina want."

He warned, however, that Argentina will have to be fully focused as they prepare to face Bosnia-Herzegovina, Nigeria and Iran in Group F.

"Lots of people may think that it is an easy group, that Argentina will qualify without any problems," he added. "We don't think like that. We think that in a World Cup there are no easy groups, that all the games will be complicated.

"For us it will be important to win the first game, to start well, to give the team confidence because it calms you to win the first game. But it is a balanced group. Maybe in other groups there are national teams with more important names, but I think all the groups are balanced."

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