​West Ham's influential attacking midfielder Manuel Lanzini has revealed his desire to walk out onto the same pitch as Barcelona's enigmatic Lionel Messi at next year's 2018 World Cup in Russia.


According to reports provided by the Mirror, via Squawka, the energetic Argentinian is desperate to earn a full international call-up and perform at a major tournament


The 24-year-old has featured for the Argentinian U20's, and was touted in Argentina's Olympic squad last summer, although an injury ultimately stunted his inclusion.

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Lanzini said: “Lionel Messi is the best player in the world and I admire him, not just as a player but for the class he shows when he is off the pitch.


“He is the kind of player that, when you perform alongside him, he makes it easier for you. It would be amazing for me to play alongside him – it would be a dream.


“When there is a major tournament just around the corner it is obviously something that you think about as a player.

“I know getting there will be very tough but in terms of my own form I feel that I am doing very well at the ­moment and I feel fit and strong. I am scoring goals so I am in good form."


Lanzini has been a shining light for Slaven Bilic' Hammers this season, and ended by stating that the prospect of being selected for the national fold is simply down to the manager, whilst insisting upon his ambition to continue his prolific form for the Stratford-based club:

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“At the end of the day it is down to the coach to decide and all I can do is to keep working hard for West Ham.”


West Ham's number 10 has struggled with thigh problems in recent times. However, the unfortunate previous setbacks will not deter Lanzini in achieving his personal goal of representing his country alongside some of the world's greatest stars of the game.