Messi hat-trick as Argentina Warms up for World Cup

Lionel Messi is optimistic of Argentina’s World Cup chances after he scored a hat-trick in their 4-0 World Cup warm-up win over Haiti.

The Barcelona no 10 also set-up Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero for the fourth goal against the 108th ranked Haitians.

It was Messi’s first game for La Albiceleste since netting a treble in a 3-1 win over Ecuador last year to qualify them for the World Cup.

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

Two-time world champions Argentina next take on Israel in a game that sold-out in minutes, before flying 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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