Next year's tournament may be the 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.
Argentina, who have not won a major global trophy since lifting the Copa America in 1993, were last week drawn in Group D for next year's World Cup finals in Russian Federation, alongside Nigeria, Croatia and Iceland.
Jorge Sampaoli's side nearly did not qualify for the tournament, but a Messi hat-trick in their final qualifier against Ecuador secured their spot in Russian Federation.
In an interview with local channel TyC Sports, broadcast on Wednesday, Messi describes Higuain as "a fundamental player, he needs to be there".
"I never went over the previous finals".
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"We were worthy of winning them because, without having played well, we had the clearest [chances] - both in the World Cup and the Copas America".
"Bench role? It's hard for me not to play or to be subbed off, but I realised and understood that it was for the best. Right now we're not far off, but there are better sides than us such as Brazil, Germany, France and Spain".
"I would have to review them to see what we did wrong so we don't repeat them".
They moved early, as Messi would have been able to speak to City in the New Year if he had not signed a new deal. "We don't feel that way".