Barcelona legend Lionel Messi names 8 soccer stars to watch at the World Cup, surprisingly leaves Ronaldo

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FC Barcelona icon Lionel Messi has named eight stars he believes can shine at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, but left out Ballon d'Or rival Cristiano Ronaldo.

Speaking ahead of the heavily anticipated tournament, the Argentina captain was asked to name the players he feels can make the difference for their respective nations at Russia 2018.

The Albiceleste forward mentioned his former colleagues Neymar and Catalan club legend Andres Iniesta, among others, but left out Ronaldo, which has surprised some.

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"Brazil have Ney and Philippe Coutinho," Messi told Mundo Deportivo.

"Spain have Andres Iniesta and (David) Silva. Germany don't have any one star but they are very solid.

"Belgium have (Eden) Hazard and (Kevin) De Bruyne. France have (Antoine) Griezmann and (Kylian) Mbappe.

"The tournament is full of very good players."

The World Cup in Russia starts next week Thursday, with countries such as France, Germany, Spain and Brazil among the heavy favourites.


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