Messi may have not won any silverware with Argentina and even toyed with worldwide retirement after yet another lost final in the 2016 Copa America, but the statistics demonstrate the colossal influence he has on this team.
Chile, who have won two Copa Americas in a row, are Argentina's biggest threat to qualification.
"However, we strongly think that Argentina's star players will step-up and they will get the crucial win, then it'll be up to other results in the group to ultimately decide whether they will qualify directly or whether they need to face New Zealand in the Play-offs or not".
He told newspaper La Nacion: 'Messi is extraordinary but he is yet to win a World Cup.
Here, we take a look at some other greats who missed out on playing in previous World Cups. I remain confident we'll be in the World Cup.
It's all looking pretty ugly for Argentina, but they can at least take comfort from the knowledge that Ecuador have nothing to play for, already suffering elimination after a wretched run of five consecutive losses.More news: Facebook Confirms Russia Ads On Instagram
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By around 2:30pm on Wednesday the final phase of South American qualifying will conclude, after games in Ecuador, Peru, Paraguay, Uruguay and Brazil.
Sadly, Sampaoli's arrival hasn't made things better, and the former Sevilla and Chile boss is still waiting for his first competitive win after seeing his team score only one goal in three games.
The two-time world champions, runners-up three years ago, have been a mainstay in the showpiece tournament since missing the 1970 edition in Mexico, but three consecutive draws have left Argentina adrift of the play-off spot on goals scored.
However, they did avoid defeat in 10 of their qualification matches and will be no pushover for their illustrious and desperate opponents. Peru is in fifth position with 25 points and also Argentina has the same points but two times World Cup victor scored few goals than Peru and so, they are in 6th position.
Lionel Messi and Argentina are in serious danger of watching Russian Federation 2018 from afar. Even an Argentina tie would pull them ahead of Chile if Chile loses to Brazil by more than one goal. Therefore, winning against Ecuador is imperative if they want to keep themselves alive.
On that occasion, Argentina tried a frenetic counter-attacking style that played in to the hands of the hosts. They need favours from everywhere.