Lionel Messi tips Brazil France and Engld as favouriteto win

Lionel Messi has tippedEngland,BrazilandFranceas his favourites to win theWorld Cup.

Messi, 35, will be captainingArgentinaat the tournament in Qatar, which gets underway on Sunday.

As the reigning South American champions, Argentina themselves are among the favourites to win the World Cup and head into the competition third in theFIFAworld rankings.

The candidates are always the same, Messi said in an interview with CONMEBOL. There are a few surprises but in general, the big teams are the candidates.

Brazil, France, England (are above the rest). Today, they are a little above the rest but anything can happen.

Argentina begin their World Cup againstSaudi Arabianext Tuesday. They will also faceMexicoandPolandin Group C.

Messi is heading into his fifth World Cup with Argentina, having reached the final only once before in 2014 when his side lost toGermany.

Brazil are tournament favourites and the highest-ranked team. They qualified six points ahead of Argentina in the CONMEBOL group.

France, the reigning champions, are also among the top sides but face something of an injury crisis, with several key midfielders and defenders missing from their squad.

England, meanwhile, are in Group B and will face the USMNT,IranandWales.

World Cup 2022 team guides: Everything that you need to know

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Luke Bosheris a Junior Editor for The Athletic, based in London.Follow Luke on Twitter@bosherL