Last Friday, Argentina, Nigeria, Iceland and Croatia were drawn together in World Cup Group D.
Next year's World Cup may be one last chance for the 30-year-old Messi to win a major trophy with Argentina and the Barcelona forward says they need to make changes in order to overcome more fancied countries.
"I never went back over the finals we lost".
"Brazil are very good, Spain have great players, Germany is strong, France have a good team - today they are all at a higher level than us".
"It is very ugly to see the things that happen in Argentina, that you can go out on the street and people want to rob you and that they can kill you".
As well as losing to Germany in the 2014 World Cup final, Argentina were also defeated by Chile in successive Copa America finals in 2015 and 2016. "Despite not playing that well, we still had the best chances, both in the World Cup and Copa America", he said. The criticism went beyond normal and went beyond football.
"People are waiting for this group to leave because it has not won for a long time and those who criticise get exhausted of always seeing the same faces", Messi told TyC Sports. "We don't feel that way".
Messi was named on the bench for their final two group games against Juventus and Sporting Lisbon.
"Of course, it is tough being a sub, but I have come to understand it is for the best".
A month ago, the Super Eagles won 4-2 in a friendly encounter against a Messi-less Albiceleste in Krasnodar, Russia. "I have always said that I don't consider myself to be a striker, but I have been lucky enough to always score goals and win individual prizes", he said.