Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.

News & Comment

Lionel Messi claims Arjen Robben helped Spain win the World Cup

Barcelona star credits Robben's miss with helping Spain to title

Lionel Messi has claimed that Arjen Robben helped Spain to the World Cup title in 2010 and that Argentina will need similar luck if they are to win the tournament this summer.

The Argentine captain believes Spain were fortunate that Robben missed a good chance to give the Netherlands the lead in the final and would not have won had he scored.

The Dutchman, who Bayern Munich today announced had extended his contract with the club until 2017, found himself one-on-one with Iker Casillas in the second half but couldn't convert the opportunity as Spain ran out eventual winners.

"You need the luck of the champions in order to win the World Cup, just like Spain had in South Africa," the Barcelona star told TyC Sports.

"Spain were the best team at the 2010 World Cup, but they were fortunate that Robben missed two huge chances in the final."

Messi also claimed that his Barcelona teammates, Xavi and Andres Iniesta, hope he can lead Argentina to glory this summer.

"Xavi and Iniesta are my friends and they told me that they want me to win the World Cup. 

"Everybody in Argentina will go absolutely crazy if we win the World Cup.

"I really hope Alejandro Sabella will continue as national team coach after the tournament."


Argentina have a favourable group draw in Brazil, having been matched with Nigeria, Bosnia and Iran.