Lionel Messi denies injury and basks in ‘special moment’ of his final World Cup

Argentina captain tells teammates to enjoy challenge‘I arrive in a good moment, personally and physically’Once more with feeling. On the eve of his fifth and, he admitted, final World Cup, Lionel Messi described himself as standing before a “last chance to get what we all want so much”. But far from feeling the weight of expectation, the pressure of time running out, the Argentina superstar insisted he is enjoying this “special moment” more than ever before. Despite photographs circulating that suggested he had a heavily swollen ankle and trained apart from his teammates, Messi also walked into the room, winked, and insisted he is in perfect physical condition.“I feel good,” the 35-year-old said. “I arrive here in a good moment, personally and physically. I heard [talk] that I had trained apart because I had a knock but there’s nothing strange there, it’s just a precaution. There’s no problem. It’s a different moment in the season [to stage a World Cup], with fewer games. I didn’t prepare in any special way. I got in good shape, got a run of continuous games and I felt comfortable all the way up to arriving here.”

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