Messi backs Argentina in South Africa

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Despite almost failing to qualify for South Africa, Lionel Messi believes Argentina can upset the favourites and lift the World Cup in Johannesburg on July 11.

Diego Maradona's team needed to win their 18th and last match to seal fourth place in the ten-team South American group at the end of an indifferent campaign that included a 6-1 rout in Bolivia and a 3-1 home defeat by Brazil.

However, despite their poor qualifying campaign, Argentina possess a great pool of players and are always a major threat at big tournaments.

Messi has been in stunning form for Barcelona and he is adamant the entire Argentina team will be up for the challenge in South Africa.

"Athough qualifying was not easy and the way we achieved our goal was not the best, I think this struggle made the team stronger," Messi said.

"Our desire to win and the faith we have are very strong. We have very good and important players, most of them, playing for important teams and fighting for important things and I think we have good chances to win the World Cup."

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