Argentina in Danger of Missing 2018 World Cup

"The team that hauled itself to the World Cup final three years ago was heavily reliant on the inspiration of Messi and the grit of Javier Mascherano". Come to think of it, that was even before than most of us were born. It's number-crunching time for Argentina and six other South American countries still vying for places in next year's World Cup in Russian Federation.

Lionel Messi and Argentina are in serious danger of watching Russian Federation 2018 from afar. A defeat would see them crash out of the 2018 World Cup in Russian Federation. It is nearly unthinkable but it could very well happen.

Despite having Lionel Messi spearheading Argentina's bristling attacking talents, Argentina have found it hard to score goals during matches.

Argentina are in sixth place in the 10-team South American group. That means a draw will be good enough for Messi's side if Colombia beat Peru and Paraguay fail to win (at home, against last-placed Venezuela).

Ecuador has not lost to Argentina since August 15, 2001, for 4 matches, winning and drawing in 2 draws.

Dario Benedetto did not impress against Peru in his home stadium.

But two of them will miss out altogether. He succeeded in seven of his 12 dribble attempts and created six shots for his teammates.

"It depends on us", said Sampaoli. In general, a World Cup without Argentina, Messi, and other Argentinian star players would likely lose a bit of its charm. They are now standing on 6th position as we speak.

Argentina can simplify the equation for their fans, however, if they manage to take all three points. The Estadio Olimpico in Quito is located 2,782 metres above sea level, making it hard for players unaccustomed to the conditions to run, never mind compete at maximum intensity for 90 minutes.

Argentina find themselves in a precarious position going in to their final qualifying match, against Ecuador in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

The 30-year-old will be part of the Albiceleste side that tries to gain automatic qualification for the 2018 World Cup against Ecuador on Tuesday night.

They can only guarantee a play-off spot with a win, but could go through with a draw if results go for them elsewhere. Brazil was the first country to qualify for next summer's World Cup.

While Messi is in danger of missing out on the World Cup, so too is Cristiano Ronaldo. In the event of defeat, however, only an improbable series of results would see them into the play-off.

From South America, top ranked four team will get qualify for upcoming FIFA World Cup 2018 directly and to get chance, fifth ranked team will have to win play off round against the champion of Oceania named New Zealand. He also teaches Screenwriting and Cinematography, and loves tattoos and flip-flops.

The author is an aspiring filmmaker and a diehard Liverpool fan.

  • Julie Sanders