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Football: Soccer-Mexico’s Ochoa in high spirits ahead of Messi test

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(Reuters) – Mexico goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa says he feels very motivated ahead of Saturday’s World Cup match against Argentina, when he will come up against the “magic” of Lionel Messi.

Ochoa, playing in his fifth World Cup, was Mexico’s hero on Tuesday when he saved a penalty from Poland striker Robert Lewandowski to earn his team a draw in their opening Group C match in Qatar.

His side could pull off an upset and knock out favorites Argentina if they take the three points after the South Americans suffered a shock 2-1 loss to Saudi Arabia.

“We are ready to compete and stand up. Messi has that magic, he can do nothing and from one minute to the next he can solve things and score a goal,” the 37-year-old Ochoa told reporters on Thursday.

“It’s going to be a nice challenge. It’s going to be very complicated, but what better stage than a World Cup against one of the best players in the world and history, Messi, if not the best.”

The Mexican captain added that a World Cup was the ideal stage to test himself against the best.

“I don’t like the, ‘hey, I don’t want to play against such and such because it’s too difficult’. On the contrary, I want to play against them in a World Cup. I want to play a good game and beat them,” Ochoa said.

Mexico faces group leaders Saudi Arabia on Wednesday.

(Reporting by Janina Nuno Rios in Mexico City, editing by Ed Osmond)

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