‘We go to Russia with hope’

Lionel Messi said Argentina will “go to Russia with hope” after he scored a hat-trick in their 4-0 World Cup warm-up win over Haiti.

The Barcelona star, 30, also set-up Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero for the fourth goal against a team ranked 108th in the world.

Aguero began the game on the bench, with Gonzalo Higuain and Angel Di Maria starting alongside Messi in the attack.

“We’re not going as favourites but will give it our all,” said Messi.

Messi’s first-half opener came from the penalty spot after 17 minutes, then he scored twice after the break before creating the goal for Aguero, who has recovered from a knee injury, at Boca Junior’s stadium in Buenos Aires.

“More than the result we were able to say goodbye to our fans,” Messi added. “We had a complicated time in the qualifiers, but we are training well.”

Argentina now flies to Barcelona to prepare for World Cup group matches against Iceland on 16 June, Croatia on 21 June and Nigeria on 26 June.





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