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Messi's legacy will not be harmed if he fails to win World Cup, says Guedioura

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The World Cup is a notable absentee from Lionel Messi's trophy cabinet, though Adlene Guedioura says that should not taint his legacy.
FotMob - about 2 months ago

Lionel Messi does not need to win a World Cup to cement his legacy, Adlene Guedioura told Stats Perform.

Seven-time Ballon d'Or winner Messi has landed eight league titles and four Champions League trophies during a glittering club career.

But international success with Argentina has largely eluded Messi, though he did lift the Copa America last year having finished a runner-up three times previously.

Messi came close to winning the World Cup in 2014, but La Albiceleste suffered final heartbreak as Mario Gotze scored an extra-time winner.

The 35-year-old's failure to bring home international football's top prize has been cited by some as harming his legacy in comparison to the likes of Pele and compatriot Diego Maradona.

The ongoing tournament in Qatar could represent Messi's final chance to win the World Cup, with his Argentina side set to face the Netherlands in the quarter-finals on Friday.

Guedioura believes even if Argentina fail in their quest to win a third World Cup in Qatar, Messi's legacy will not be tainted.

Asked if he feels the potential gap in Messi's trophy cabinet will impact how he is remembered, the former Algeria midfielder told Stats Perform: "Not at all. We've enjoyed him for such a long time with [Cristiano] Ronaldo.

"I think, of course, a title with Argentina will put him on the top of everything. But watching him in Barcelona and with Paris Saint-Germain is something special."

Argentina came into the tournament on a run of 36 matches unbeaten, but that streak came to a stunning end when they were beaten 2-1 by Saudi Arabia in their World Cup opener.

La Albiceleste have steadied the ship, though, finishing top of Group C and beating Australia in the round of 16 to set up the meeting with the Netherlands.

Despite Argentina's improvement, Guedioura highlighted rivals Brazil as the team more likely to take the trophy back to South America, explaining: "Argentina started poorly with Saudi Arabia.

"Maybe, it was a little accident or a little warning for them. But compared to Brazil, I feel Brazil they are stronger than Argentina."

Guedioura played for Algeria at the 2010 World Cup, and though his nation failed to qualify this year, fellow African sides Senegal and Morocco made it to the knockout stages, with the latter set to face Portugal in the last eight.

The Al-Duhail midfielder thinks African nations pull together at tournaments in a way that is not replicated across other regions of the world. "This is maybe a difference when you have England or Scotland," he observed.

"When Scotland is not qualified, it's like they don't want England to do well. For us, I don't think it's like this. Any team that does well, all of Africa support them because they are the hope for the country and for the continent really."

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