Lionel Messi lobbies for Gonzalo Higuain's return to Argentina

Pep Guardiola has denied reports Manchester City offered Lionel Messi a €100million bonus to sign with the Premier League club, insisting the Argentina superstar was never going to leave Barcelona.

A poor performance at Russian Federation 2018 could see Messi vanish again, though, according to the man himself.

"It hurts a lot to have gone to three finals and be so criticised".

"I have a family and my children come first, and then me".

The five-time Ballon d'Or victor recently signed a new deal with Barcelona that runs to 2021.

A secret clause in his deal allows the 30-year-old to offer his opinion on who the Catalan giants should attempt to lure to Spain's north eastern region and, with Barca planning to bring Coutinho in, offered his verdict on that particular chase. He wants to finish his career with Barcelona.

Thursday forecast: Coldest day of the season so far
As that front looks to be fairly far off the coast, most of the moisture should stay out over the ocean as well. Sunshine should be more plentiful Sunday but that is of little effect as even colder air surges into the area.

The Juventus striker had also missed Argentina's previous two qualifiers, with the Albiceleste eventually booking their place in Russian Federation with a 3-1 win in Ecuador in which Messi grabbed a hat-trick. But it's true that we have to improve if we aspire to be world champions.

'If we do badly at the World Cup, we all have to disappear from the national team. The criticism went beyond normal and went beyond football.

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"For me he is one of the best number nines in the world".

"I think this time away from the national side has done him good and judging by the times we spoke, it has made him see things differently", Messi said.

Argentina were placed in Group D at last week's World Cup draw, alongside Iceland, Croatia and Nigeria.

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