World Cup 2018 is here! They've won a World Cup.
It's a weapon that Iceland will try to use to counter the individual brilliance of Lionel Messi and other players when the two teams face each other Saturday in Group D. He has already retired once from the national team (temporarily, after defeat in the 2016 Copa América Centenario final), and his disdain for the beleaguered Argentine federation is legendary.
Aside from the obvious Lionel Messi, there's Gonzalo Higuain, Sergio Aguero, the new wonder Paulo Dybala and (of course) the creative force, Angel Di Maria.
Ronaldo may be 33-years-old, but he is still one of the greatest players in the world and the crown jewel of Real Madrid.
His rivalry with Cristiano Ronaldo is one of the greatest in football - nay any sport - and those that have watched the two duel it out week after week, competition after competition, will remember it for eternity.
He's also a reliable and lethal finisher, especially in times when his team's main strikers are struggling to find the back of the net, making several of his goals scored very crucial ones especially for Argentina, one of which is his 118th minute goal against Switzerland in the Round of 16 of the 2014 World Cup.
It can also be argued that defenders in the golden era were not as technically gifted as the defenders today and that makes it more hard for a player with silky skills such as Messi to shine through.
"Croatia is a good team with players in the big European leagues and that makes them risky, Messi told the Express".
Argentina are considered among the contenders in Russian Federation despite struggling through qualifying, although the likes of Brazil, Spain, Germany and France are more fancied to win the showpiece event.
"Messi is the best player in history", the coach once said in 2017.
If Argentina can get Paulo Dybala and Lionel Messi on the same page, they're a risky team to beat.
"As it is the first game of the World Cup, it is hard to start playing at the best level", he said.
It had been claimed earlier in the week that Lopetegui believes Lionel Messi is the best player on the planet.
"For me Messi is an extension of Maradona".
"I was lucky to play against him when I was in Spain". "It was our first game in a major tournament and they couldn't beat Iceland so it was not nice for them". And now it is a lasting image of that tournament: Messi gazing at the World Cup trophy as he walked past it afterward, so tantalizingly close that he could have touched it.