"He is one of the best strikers in the world and he has shown that every week at Juventus", the Barcelona player told Argentina broadcaster TyC on Wednesday.
"I have come to understand that the season is long and that some periods are more important than others".
Messi signed a new contract at the Nou Camp last month which keeps him in Catalonia until 2021. I want them to grow up in a calm place, being able to enjoy life with security.
The 30-year-old Barcelona number ten was not in action when the La Albiceleste and the Super Eagles played a Friendly game in November.
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Messi is now the second highest paid player in the world, earning R8.7 million a week.
It was Argentina's third major final defeat in as many years, and Messi said at the time, per BBC Sport: "For me, the national team is over". We are in a good moment.
"We went through a tough spell".
Argentina, Nigeria, Iceland and Croatia were drawn into Group D in Friday's draw in Moscow.
"But it is true that we have to improve if we want to be world champions".
At one point it looked as though Messi may not be at the 2018 World Cup even if Argentina did qualify after he announced his global retirement in June 2016 after a second successive Copa America final defeat to Chile. "Right now there are better teams than us, like Brazil, Germany, France and Spain".