Messi eyes revenge against Germany

June 29th, 2010 - 11:48 pm ICT by IANS  

Pretoria, June 29 (DPA) Four years ago, Lionel Messi was a promising young lad who sat on the bench throughout Argentina’s ill-fated quarter-final clash against Germany.
This time round, he’s the biggest footballing star on the planet. He is fully fit. And he smells blood.

“This time I have the chance to play … and hopefully make things right,” Messi told the German Press Agency DPA.

In South Africa, Messi is at his best ever with Argentina. He gives the team balance and is the main engine of the Albiceleste’s goal-scoring machine.

But he admits that beating Germany, possibly the most in-form European team at this World Cup, will not be easy.

“Germany has good players, especially up front. It’s going to be tough,” Messi told DPA.

Asked whether he might score his first 2010 World Cup goal against Miroslav Klose and partners, Messi said: “I’d love to!”

Messi is not one to be afraid of challenges. Last week, just days before turning 23 years old, coach Diego Maradona made him Argentina captain for the first time.

It was just another milestone in a stellar career that last year alone saw him win the Spanish league and the European Champions League with Barcelona. FIFA had no hesitation in electing him the world’s best player of 2009.

Maradona, one of football’s all-time greatest, has said it would be a “sin” not to field Messi at the World Cup.

He is particularly impressed by the fact that his heir-apparent “wants to play all the time. I love that.”

Messi’s coach when he was still a kid playing for Newell’s Old Boys in his hometown of Rosario says he’s always been that way.

“It was impossible to make him stay on the bench for for five minutes,” Adrian Coria told DPA.

Four years ago, Germany needed a penalty shoot-out to overcome Argentina and make it to the semi-finals.

This time round, Messi’s golden left-foot might resolve matters before extra time.

Germany have been warned.

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