Lionel Messi: It's 'now or never' for Argentina to win a World Cup

Argentina superstar Lionel Messi says it's "now or never" for him and his Albiceleste teammates at the 2018 World Cup in Russia this summer.

Messi & Co. have reached the final of their last three major tournaments, including the 2014 World Cup in which they were beaten 1-0 by Germany.

In addition to that loss, Argentina have suffered consecutive finals defeats to Chile in the 2015 and 2016 Copa Americas, and Messi, 30, says this summer's tournament could be their last chance to win.

"It was tough because we weren't able to lift it [the World Cup trophy]," Messi said in an interview with Fox Sports Argentina ahead of Tuesday's friendly against Spain. "Passing next to the World Cup trophy was horrible.

"We want to get rid of the bad taste and win the World Cup. To be so close and not being able to lift the trophy on previous occasions was a disappointment for all of us.

"We have a debt with ourselves [the players]. We don't owe the fans anything because we always give our 100 percent. We've gotten to three finals.

"We feel that it's now or never. Because this is it, we have to think that this could be the last for this group of players."

The five-time Ballon d'Or winner is still haunted by individual errors in the 2014 final against Germany.

"I didn't re-watch the final against Germany ... I remember the chance to score that I had, it was awful how I shot the ball, the way I positioned my foot ... If I would hit that ball in some other way, maybe like I did against Chelsea the other day from a similar position," he reflected.

Messi said he believes the road to a title won't be easy, and has picked four other nations as the clear favourites in Russia.

"Right now we're not among the contenders to win the World Cup," he said. "There are much better teams like Spain, Germany, Brazil and France."

Juventus star Paulo Dybala made headlines in December when he stated it was difficult for him to play with Messi in the national team. Messi operates on the right and drifts centrally for Argentina, which is similar to the positions Dybala occupies at Juve.

But Messi said he never took issue with Dybala's comments.

"We spoke about what he said. And he's right," Messi said. "He occupies a very similar position to mine when he plays at Juventus. So he had to move to the left and he's not used to playing there.

"It's tougher for us to play in that area. Moving from the right, when we cut inside, the whole pitch is in front of us. That's why I almost never go play as a left wing.

"I really understood what he meant so there was nothing that needed further clarification."