A World Cup without Messi?

USA with Stoke¿s Geoff Cameron will qualify if they beat Trinidad and Tobago

USA with Stoke¿s Geoff Cameron will qualify if they beat Trinidad and Tobago

Soccer-mad Argentina is on tenterhooks as the team, and arguably the world's best player Lionel Messi, faces a must-win match againt Ecuador in Quito to qualify for next year's World Cup finals in Russian Federation.

But Messi's XI is in more danger than others, considering they face the threat of Ecuador in Quito during the final round of matches on Tuesday night.

Back in South America, Brazil, the only team to have played in every World Cup since the first tournament was held in Uruguay in 1930, have already qualified for Russian Federation, 10 points clear at the top with 38 points, while Uruguay (28) need just a draw from their final game against Bolivia to advance.

Hence, Argentina's last match in the South America World Cup qualifiers against Ecuador is going to be of utmost importance on Tuesday (October 10).

As things stand, those two matches would take place in Wellington on November 8 with the return in Buenos Aires on November 15.

Kempes, who won the World Cup on home turf in 1978, said "a World Cup without Argentina and without Messi would be a catastrophe", to Súper Deportivo Radio de Santa Fe, a statement later picked up by FourFourTwo.

Messi has played in nine of Argentina's 17 qualifiers.

"Only one thing will work" with North Korea
Kim Jong Un also visited the mausoleum where his father and grandfather, "eternal president" Kim Il Sung, lie in state. Speaking to reporters on Saturday ahead of a trip to North Carolina, Trump said he had nothing more to clarify.

Argentina can still lose and reach the playoffs, providing Peru suffer a heavier defeat and Paraguay fail to win.

That question posed by Diego Maradona must haunt all of Argentina in the hours counting down to tonight's World Cup qualifier against Ecuador at nearly 3,000 metres above sea level. A win guarantees at the very least a play-off against New Zealand for which they'd be very strong favourites over two legs.

Brazil have already secured their plane ticket as they lead the way by 10 points.

Renato Cesarini and Humberto Maschio were both dismissed, leaving Adolfo Pedernera to take charge of the 1970 World Cup qualifying campaign. In the autumn, the national team of Ecuador lost to Brazil 0: 2, Peru 1: 2 and Chile 1: 2. The 53-year-old has named a relatively inexperienced squad, with just eight of players plying their trade outside Ecuador.

South American leaders Brazil, meanwhile, are already assured of a berth at next year's World Cup and there are suggestions the Selecao - with nothing to play for against hopefuls Chile in Sao Paulo - could deliberately harm Argentina's chances, but Tite insisted that is not the case.

He told newspaper La Nacion: 'Messi is extraordinary but he is yet to win a World Cup. For that to happen, they need their star players to appear when it matters the most.

In case of a draw, Argentina will need other results to go in their favour as well.

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