Federation Internationale de Football Association president Gianni Infantino has insisted Lionel Messi must win a World Cup before he can be considered as the greatest player of all time.
Peru held Argentina to a 0-0 draw in Buenos Aires on Thursday that left Sampaoli's team in sixth place in the 10-nation South American group, out of the qualifying places for Russian Federation.
Here's a quick look at the chances and the qualifying rules. "We have to play another game". Unless Paraguay overcame the large goal difference, Chile would end up in the playoff, so a draw would likely get Chile to the World Cup.
The match against Peru was typical of so many Argentina matches in the Messi era.
Nothing has worked so far.
Messi was talked back into the fold, but Argentina are now sweating on their place at a 2018 showpiece and know they must secure a positive result against Ecuador on Wednesday to give themselves hope.
The qualifying process for the 2018 World Cup that began on March 12, 2015, is reaching its climax with several of the biggest names in world football, are far from certain of their seat on the plane to Russian Federation.
With 10 teams in the frame, a total of 18 rounds are contested before the top four go through automatically and the fifth head into a very winnable two-legged knockout tie against New Zealand. Chile are third with Colombia fourth, both with 26 points.
The Argentina captain was close to retirement after the Copa America final defeat to Chile, but is now is even closer.
Who's already qualified for the 2018 World Cup? They need to win - and wait for some results to go their way - if they want to punch a direct ticket to the tournament.
Ecuador has not lost to Argentina since August 15, 2001, for 4 matches, winning and drawing in 2 draws.
But Chile has been struggling immensely lately and a loss to the five-time champions is possible, especially with Arturo Vidal suspended.
The PSG forward and the Argentine captain always publicly showed their friendship during the Brazilian's time at Barcelona, so it would come as no surprise that Neymar wants to see Messi in Russian Federation come next summer.
Their final qualifier is in Ecuador, who have already been eliminated but beat Argentina 2-0 the first time the two sides met in the South American qualifiers.
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