"I am convinced that if we are as we were today, that Argentina is going to the World Cup", he said.
The problem, though, is that Argentina simply can not find the net - just 16 goals in their 17 qualification matches attest to that.
Things aren't going as smoothly for Messi on global duty, however, with Messi failing to score from open play in 2017.
Peru had their moments with Jefferson Farfan going close before Paolo Guerrero nearly snatched a goal at the death with a free kick that Sergio Romero tipped over the bar.
Coach Jorge Sampaoli believes his men will be in Russian Federation next year.
However, with just four points covering second-placed Uruguay to Paraguay in seventh, the race for Russian Federation is set to go down to the wire next week when the final round of qualifiers kick off simultaneously at 12.30am on Wednesday.
Despite Argentina's fumbling qualification campaign, the dropped points at home to Paraguay, Ecuador, and Venezuela, the blunt attack that has produced fewer goals than all the South American nations barring Bolivia and the obvious lack of cohesion under a third manager, most had still held the belief that comes what may, Messi would be in Russian Federation.More news: Welwyn Hatfield MP Grant Shapps calls for leadership contest
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Argentina's final qualifier comes against Ecuador in Quito - a city in which they haven't won a competitive match in 16 years.
Five teams are potential World Cup qualifying opponents for New Zealand to emerge from South America following the penultimate round of CONMEBOL federation matches. They then will travel to Ecuador for their final group game as they look to secure crucial qualification after a poor series of opening performances.
The All Whites' path to Russian Federation has become even murkier after the penultimate round of South American qualifying.
Eduardo Vargas gave Chile a first-half lead before Romario Ibarra equalised for Ecuador on 84 minutes.
Alexis Sanchez was Chile's hero as they left it late against Ecuador.
Still, they can take heart from wins in Quito by Brazil, Chile and Peru during this qualifying campaign, proving that teams can adapt to tough conditions 2,850m above sea level.
Radamel Falcao poked home a Yimmi Chara through ball up and over onrushing keeper Antony Silva in the 79th minute to seemingly move Jose Pekerman's side one step closer to a spot in Russian Federation next summer.
"If he doesn't touch the ball for five minutes, you have to bring him to where the ball is".