Messi avoids crazy situation

11 October 2017 03:35:54 EST

Argentina superstar Lionel Messi admitted it would have been 'crazy' had his side missed out on qualifying for the World Cup finals in Russia next summer.

Messi rose to the occasion with a hat-trick for the Albiceleste as they won 3-1 in Ecuador to move up from sixth place to third place in the CONMEBOL standings, joining Brazil, Uruguay and Colombia is securing automatic qualification.

It would have been crazy not to be in the World Cup.

Lionel Messi

Peru are left to face New Zealand in a play-off, while Chile missed out altogether after losing 3-0 to Brazil.

After his efforts, Messi was relieved and keen to make up for near misses in three recent major tournaments, with Argentina having lost the last World Cup final to Germany and been beaten on penalties in the last two Copa America finals.

He told the media: "There was always the fear of coming here to play. Luckily, we could react and we managed to play well.

"We were calm, we achieved the goal and that is the most important thing. It would have been crazy not to be in the World Cup, the group deserved to qualify.

"It was unfair what happened in the (last) World Cup and the two Copa Americas. We ended up suffering to enter this World Cup (but) hopefully we will win it once and for all."

Argentina lifted the World Cup in both 1978 and 1986, while they have also reached the final on two other occasions.

They can be backed at 250/1 to win the World Cup for a third time next summer, with Brazil priced at 12121/1 and Uruguay available at 1000/1.

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