Messi, Aguero train with Argentina ahead of FIFA World Cup 2018

Mauricio Macri and Argentina team

But they are two of the best. Safe to say, their's is a feat that's not going to be trumped in a long, long time.

Barcelona footballer and Croatian worldwide Ivan Rakitic heaped praise on his club teammate Lionel Messi saying that had football been an individual sport like tennis then the Argentine superstar would have won 50 grand slams by now. Yes, according to the Barcelona midfielder, his legendary teammate would've won more tennis Majors than arguably the two greatest players combined.

The 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russian Federation is just about two weeks away. They share the dressing room in club football but will represent Croatia and Argentina respectively at the mega event in Russian Federation. Speaking to the Croatian newspaper Vecernji list, Rakitic praised his Argentine rival and said he makes his country the favourites in the World Cup. Rakitic however would have the toughest job at the coming World Cup - thwarting Messi's genius as Argentina and Croatia have been placed in the same group.

"He'd give some titles with Barcelona for that one with Argentina", Rakitic stated.

"Messi is such a dominant sportsman that he would have won 50 grand slams if he was a tennis player". "But you don't play football by yourself, it is not an individual sport", said Rakitic.

Former Chelsea and Argentina forward Hernan Crespo, however, believes the comparisons are pointless, especially as Messi has made an astronomical impact in football even without winning the World Cup. During qualification, Argentina tried three different coaches who used a number of different players.

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Asked if Argentina could win the World Cup, Messi swerved between hope and realism.

"All the big footballing nations will start as favourites", Messi said. The most important thing is we can play as a team.

"We are not candidates but we are very good, training and improving day by day. Quite a few squads are better,".

Messi has won multiple Champions League and Club World Cup titles with Barca.

The likes of Brazil, Germany, Spain and France are considered the favourites to challenge for the World Cup crown in Russian Federation next month, with La Albiceleste ranked fifth amongst the bookies, according to Sports Mole. Messi moved to Barcelona at the age of 13 and would have been eligible to play for Spain. It is obvious that the social impact Maradona had will never be seen again.

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