Lionel Messi is amongst the greatest players ever to grace the beautiful game and has won every piece of silverware at the club level. For country, it has been heartbreak after heartbreak have led Argentina to three straight finals to only end up on the losing side. A trophy for this nation is the only item to to alluded him from his illustrious career. Turning 31 in the coming days, this is likely to be the last international tournament in his prime. Even if he does retire after the World Cup, the world would not be surprised. Let us not forget that he retired from the Argentinian before to only come back and score a hattrick to drag this side to Russia.
Argentina are a force to be reckoned with when Lionel Messi is playing as shown in their most recent friendlies. But without him, this uber talented side is a average at best. The Loyola Chicago of the Euro 2016 - Iceland - are looking to muck up the game and irritate Argentina before scoring off a set piece. Their arrival to Russia follows a historic run in Euro 2016 where they trumped England on they way to the quarter finals. Unlike Argentina, they are a solid defensive team that can slow down the pace of the game and absorb wave after wave of Argentinian attacks. Though, like their opponents, they rely on their their talisman to create goal scoring chances.
Biggest X-Factor: Gylfi Sigurdsson
Predicted XI (Argentina): Caballero (Gk), Salvio, Otamendi, Rojo,Tagliafico, Biglia, Mascherano, Meza, Messi (c), di Maria, Higuain .
Predicted XI (Iceland): Halldorsson; Saevarsson, Arnason, R Sigurdsson, Magnusson; JB Gudmundsson, Gunnarsson, Hallfredsson, Bjarnason; G Sigurdsson, Bodvarsson
Score Prediction: Argentina 2-1 Iceland