The road to the World Cup


Lionel Messi during a match between Barcelona and Chelsea on April 28, 2009.


Alex Livesey

The road to the World Cup begins today for South American soccer squads.

Argentina takes on Chile in one of the four matches on opening day of the South American group.

Nine countries play in the qualifying round, since the host Brazil is exempt. They are Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela.

For Argentina, the pressure is on to break the recent string of disappointments, including a quarterfinal loss in this summer's Copa America.

"We have to break the cycle of failure," star player Lionel Messi said recently, reported Goal.com. Teammate Javier Pastore said, "The failures must be left behind … . "We've had failure after failure."

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