Argentina eyeing World Cup semi-finals – Tapia

The growth in the Argentine Football Association is because of Lionel Messi, president Claudio Tapia said.

Argentina star Lionel Messi   -  Getty Images

Argentine Football Association (AFA) president Claudio Tapia believes reaching the World Cup semi-finals is a good target for the nation.

The 2014 runners-up are not considered among the hot favourites for the tournament in Russia, having struggled through qualifying.

Tapia said the semi-finals are a realistic target for Argentina, who face Iceland, Croatia and Nigeria in Group D.

"Being in the top four is a positive goal," he told TyC Sports.

Lionel Messi will again lead Argentina as he continues to look for a first senior trophy with his nation.

Tapia was full of praise for the Barcelona star, hailing the forward as the world's best.

"He gives a lot to Argentine soccer, let's face it," he said.

"The growth we have in the AFA is because we have the best player in the world."

Argentina open their World Cup campaign against Iceland in Moscow on Saturday.

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