The 30-year-old Barcelona forward is still seeking his first senior trophy with the Albiceleste, having come painfully close in the past three and a half years as a losing finalist in the 2014 World Cup, 2015 Copa America and 2016 Copa America, reports Xinhua news agency.
“People are waiting for this group to leave because it has not won for a long time and those who criticize get tired of always seeing the same faces,” Messi told TyC Sports.
“I think it’s the last opportunity for this group. There is a lot of excitement. If we do badly, the entire national team will have to disappear. It’s going to be very difficult for anyone to continue because we have already been here for a number of years.”
Argentina endured a torrid qualifying campaign in South America’s CONMEBOL group, only securing a World Cup place in the last match against Ecuador in October with a Messi-inspired 3-1 victory in Quito.
The Albiceleste have been drawn in one of the toughest World Cup groups alongside Iceland, Nigeria and Croatia.