Our football match prediction:
Argentina square off against Iceland at Otkrytiye Arena in the opening match of their 2018 FIFA World Cup campaign. La Albiceleste rolled over Haiti in their last warm-up game, with Barcelona superstar Leo Messi scoring a hat-trick. All eyes will be on the Argentine magician when the two teams face each other in Moscow on June 16. The good news for Argentina fans is that Manchester City Kun Aguero should be fit to face Iceland and we predict that he is going to prove a handful for the opposition defenders as well. The Icelanders will, as always, leave their hearts on the field in Saturday’s football match and, no doubt, they could make life difficult for the South American giants. However, given the quality of Jorge Sampaoli’s team, we are tempted to put our money on Leo Messi and Co, who won their last World Cup trophy back in 1986.
Highlighted Player (Messi):
Lionel Messi is regarded as one of the best players in the history of football. He was born on 24 June, 1987 in Rosario and he began his football career at Newell’s Old Boys. At age 10 he was diagnosed with a growth hormone deficiency, but having realised his potential at a young age, Barcelona decided to pay for his treatment. Messi joined Barca in 2001 and he has been playing for the Camp Nou outfit ever since. The Argentine magician has won eight La Liga trophies with Barca and he helped the Catalan giants lift no less than four Champions League titles (2005/2006, 2008/2009, 2010/2011, 2014/2015). In the 2011/2012 La Liga campaign Messi scored 50 goals for Barca, while netting 14 goals in the 2011/2012 Champions League campaign. The five-time Golden Ball award winner has established himself as Barcelona’s all-time top scorer, but he has yet to win a trophy with Argentina national team at major tournaments. Leo Messi, though, has won Olympic Gold Medal (2008) and FIFA World Youth Championship (2005), with la Albiceleste.
Highlighted Team (Iceland):
Iceland had little to no success during the first 60 years of entering the FIFA competitions, failing to qualify to a single major tournament in that period, but the team then went on to make tremendous progress at the start of the 21st century. The Nordic side narrowly missed out on a place at the 2014 World Cup, losing in the play-off to Croatia, but they then enjoyed a thoroughly impressive qualifying campaign to reach the Euro 2016 finals, taking 20 points from 10 matches to leave Turkey and Netherlands trailing in their wake. As a result, the generation featuring players like Gylfi Sigurdsson, Aron Gunnarsson, Kolbeinn Sigthorsson and Emil Hallfredsson will go down as one of the most successful in the national team history and it could be quite some time before another team repeat their success. Even if he was only used as a bit-part player during the Euro 2016 qualifiers, Eidur Gudjohnsen has got to be mentioned as the first Icelandic footballer to have played for top European sides.