Argentine Legend Tells Messi To Stop Playing For Barca Till World Cup
Ruggeri also suggested that the five-time World Player of the Year should be giving his full support to Argentina boss Jorge Sampaoli by prioritising this summer’s Mundial in Russia.
Former Argentina World Cup star, Oscar Ruggeri has advised his compatriot Lionel Messi to skip all Barcelona games for the rest of the season and stay focused on winning the 2018 World Cup.
Messi is billed to star for Barcelona against Sevilla in tomorrow’s Copa del Rey final, but Ruggeri wants Messi to bring his domestic season to end with the Catalans already out of the Champions League.
Speaking to 90 Minutes Fox, Ruggeri said: “Do you think Barcelona will lose the Spanish championship if Messi doesn’t play again? “Messi can call the Barcelona president and tell him ‘this is my World Cup; I’m going to dedicate myself to the national team’”, Ruggeri said.
He added: “He [Messi] must also call the national team coach and tell him that he is going to be completely concentrated on the World Cup.
The demands of modern football dictate that sides get considerably less preparation time for major tournaments than they did in the past, but Ruggeri feels Messi can set an example for others to follow.
He said: “Before Mexico 1986 we had 65 days to focus, 65 days before the World Cup we were all together.”
Ruggeri was part of the Diego Maradona-inspired squad the last time the Albiceleste got their hands on the biggest prize in 1986 in Mexico.