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 Posted by Dermot Corrigan
Jun 17, 2014

Messi would welcome Higuain move

The ESPN FC panel weigh in on Argentina's performance in their 2-1 victory over Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Lionel Messi has said he would love to see his Argentina teammate Gonzalo Higuain leave Napoli and join him at Barcelona.

- Vickery: Sabella faces formation dilemma
- Kelly: Argentina do enough to beat Bosnia
We need to improve, says Lionel Messi

Marca has reported that a Barcelona move for the former Real Madrid striker is close to completion, saying he has already agreed personal terms. However, Napoli have denied that any transfer is in the works.

Speaking 24 hours after Higuain had provided the assist for his winner in Argentina's 2-1 opening World Cup victory over Bosnia-Herzegovina, Messi told Ole that the "world class" Higuain would be a good fit at the Camp Nou.

He said: "It is World Cup time and I cannot think about anything else  -- but I have heard about this.

"I would be delighted if it happened, for the player that he is. He is one of the best in the world. He would be good for us."

Speaking to news agency EFE after the Bosnia match, Higuain, 26, said: "Yes, of course [I would like to play alongside Messi at Barcelona]. Obviously it would be an enormous pleasure. I am pleased by the Barca interest -- any player would be.

"But I am focused now on the World Cup. There will be another time to talk about my future. I am here now, focused on this dream, trying for us all to be able to achieve our objectives."

Meanwhile, Messi said four teams have so far caught his attention in Brazil -- and he thinks Germany, Netherlands, Brazil and Italy can all rival Argentina for the trophy.

"We had to wait so many days before our first match, watching all the other teams' games, and I was impressed by Germany and Holland the most," he told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

"Even Brazil and Italy are candidates for the title, but we're on a par with all of them.

"We maybe didn't play our best game against Bosnia, but winning the opening game was fundamental and we succeeded in doing that. We know how high the expectations are among our fans, and we'll do all we can to satisfy them."

Bosnia midfielder Miralem Pjanic hailed Messi for the difference he made in the game, describing him as "extraordinary."

"We had controlled him very well I'd say, but then you could all see how little he needs to score such a fantastic goal," he said.

ESPN FC's Ben Gladwell contributed to this report.

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