Argentina legend, Diego Maradona, has urged Lionel Messi to replicate his heroics and bring the World Cup home.
Maradona was Argentina’s captain when the South Americans won their last World Cup trophy in 1986 and insists Messi is the only one who can emulate him.
"There were too many footballers in Argentina who were named the second Diego," he told the Times of India.
"Leo is the only one with whom I find so many similarities. Come on Leo, do it for us! 1986 happened 28 years ago.
"We all are waiting to be crowned (world champions) again. And I know you can do it. Hit the 'goalazo' my boy and enjoy the adulation of the country for the rest of your life!”
Messi has failed to shine during his previous two appearances at the 2006 and 2010 World Cup, but Maradona believes the 26-year-old ‘genius’ will raise to the occasion this time around.
"Leo shares so many similarities with me. I was there in Spain in the 1982 World Cup as a rookie and Leo played the same role in 2010,” he added.
“In Mexico, I was the captain and in Brazil, Leo will lead the Albiceleste. I was 25-plus in 1986, while Leo will celebrate his 27th birthday during the World Cup in Brazil.
"Moreover, Leo's season for Barcelona was not a particularly good one. They could not qualify for the Champions League semi-final.
"It might be a blessing in disguise for Leo and his Barcelona team-mates who will play in the World Cup, since they have got some much needed rest.
"Brazil, beware! Here comes Lionel Messi! This boy is a genius and I have been saying this for many years."
Argentina will start their World Cup campaign against Bosnia and Herzegovina on Sunday, 15 June.
Do you think Lionel Messi can shine at this year’s World Cup in Brazil? Have your say in the comment section below.