Lionel Messi: Barcelona won't be my last club

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Barcelona star Lionel Messi has insisted that he didn't influence the decision to leave Mauro Icardi out of the Argentina national team.

"The worst that could happen to us would be to draw Spain at the group stages", Messi told TyC Sports Wednesday from Moscow where Argentina play Russian Federation in a friendly on Saturday.

Messi added: "We played the final of a World Cup, two Copa America finals, at least two of the three [we] deserved to win". "Now it's coming out that all that was said was a lie".

"Telling great players that they're only playing because they're Messi's friend is disrespectful, and it's also a total lie because I don't run the national team".

Icardi caused huge controversy when he married the ex-wife of Messi's close friend and former team-mate Maxi Lopez.

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Jorge Sampaoli's team will have to improve significantly if they will have an impact similar to the 2014 edition, when they lost to Germany after overtime in the final.

"We did not win - and we all went through that".

"The truth is that it hurts - everything that was said at this time", Messi said. "But, on the other hand, I am used to everything that they say", he told ESPN FC.

"I always believed we'd get there, but I thought we would have tied up qualification before the Ecuador game", said Messi, reiterating that he would like to end his career in his Argentinian birthplace of Rosario.

"I am used to all the ridiculous things they say not just about me, but about this group (of players) from the last few years, so I can live with it". "I knew what he meant from the first moment".