World Cup 2022: Mexico Coach Predicts Against Messi and Argentina

World Cup 2022: Mexico Coach Predicts Against Messi and Argentina

  • Mexico boss Gerardo Martino has picked his World Cup favourite and it is not Lionel Messi's Argentina
  • Martino, who is also from the South American nation, picked Spain as World Cup winner over his country
  • He has formerly coached Messi for both club and country, having managed Barcelona in the 2013/14 season

Mexico boss and Argentina native Gerardo Martino has picked his World Cup favourite, and it is not something Lionel Messi and the whole of Argentina will be pleased with.

The former La Albiceleste player and manager has picked Spain, managed by his successor at Barcelona in Luis Enrique, as his favourite to win the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup.

Lionel Messi, Gerardo Martino, Argentina, Mexico, Spain, FIFA World Cup
Gerardo Martino picks Spain over Lionel Messi and Argentina as World Cup favourites. Photos by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Christopher Lee.
Source: Getty Images

Martino's words come as a big conflict of interest, as he is a native of Argentina as well as the head coach of Mexico, both of who are still in contention for the knockout stages of the World Cup.

The statement by Gerardo Martino

Martino picked Spain over his country, while speaking at the pre-match conference ahead of El Tri's match against Saudi Arabia, as quoted by Mirror.

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''Spain are the top candidate for me, and the only one suggesting football that is entirely different to the others. The way Spain choose to play means you need to choose to be excellent; they are playing in such an aesthetic way and they are the big candidate for me.''

Martino failed as Argentina manager

Martino failed as Argentina manager, losing two Copa America finals in two years to Chile in 2015 and 2016, one time coached by another Argentine - Jorge Sampaoli.

The 2016 loss led to Messi announcing his retirement from international football, as reported by the BBC. Martino also resigned as the South American nation's coach after the final loss.

Lionel Messi, Copa America, FIFA World Cup, Argentina, Chile
Lionel Messi looks dejected after losing in the final of the 2016 Copa America. Photo by Nicholas Kamm.
Source: Getty Images

Messi returned to the national team after Sampaoli was announced as manager, and would yet again take a temporary break after elimination from the 2018 World Cup, as reported by Mirror.

Messi under attack from Mexico

Sports Brief earlier reported that Mexican boxer Canelo Alvarez threatened Messi, after he appeared to dump their jersey at his feet in the dressing room after Argentina's 2-0 win.

The Mexican is displeased and told the Argentine talisman he should pray to God they never meet face-to-face, while others have come to Messi's defence.

Argentina will look to book their place in the knockout stage if they beat Poland, a result Mexico could also benefit from if they beat Saudi Arabia.