June 6, 2018 / 4:20 AM / 18 days ago

Soccer: Argentina focused on lifting World Cup again, says Rojo

(Reuters) - Argentina players will do everything in their power in Russia to help the team lift the World Cup trophy again after falling at the last hurdle four years ago in Brazil, defender Marcos Rojo has said.

Soccer Football - Argentina Training - Valdebebas Training Grounds, Madrid, Spain - March 24, 2018 Argentina's Marcos Rojo during training REUTERS/Juan Medina

The 28-year-old Manchester United centre back, capped 56 times by Argentina, and his team mates suffered a last-gasp 1-0 defeat by Germany in the 2014 final.

"It's a really important thing and a big deal for any Argentinian to wear that shirt," Rojo told United's website www.manutd.com. "We really feel the shirt a lot and we defend our colours.

“We give everything when we are wearing it and we want payback for the way things happened at the last World Cup.

“We will do everything to give our fans the possibility to celebrate winning the trophy again.”

Rojo will face Nigeria in the World Cup group stage, a team he scored his first international goal against in the 2014 World Cup.

Croatia and Iceland are their other two opponents in Group D and Rojo feels Argentina’s progress in the tournament would depend on Lionel Messi’s goalscoring abilities.

“It’s Nigeria again!” he said. “I think it’s three or four times now we’ve been drawn with Nigeria and it will be a difficult group. Croatia and Iceland are in there too.

“Hopefully, Lionel Messi will be in form and can do something for us.”

Argentina have cancelled their final World Cup warmup match against Israel, as the political pressure grew ahead of Saturday’s scheduled fixture in Jerusalem.

They will kick off their World Cup campaign in Russia against Iceland on June 16.

Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; editing by Sudipto Ganguly

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