- World Cup
Messi: Argentina ready to win World Cup
Lionel Messi believes Argentina are ready to win a third World Cup as they prepare to face Germany in Sunday's final at the Maracana.
Argentina will be appearing in their fifth World Cup final - but they have not lifted the trophy since 1986 when Diego Maradona inspired his nation in Mexico.
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Messi has failed to make an impact in Argentina's last two matches - in the penalty shootout semi-final win over the Netherlands and the 1-0 victory over Belgium in the quarter-finals.
However - despite not being able to hit top form, which his father has suggested may be down to exhaustion - Messi is still in contention for the Golden Boot award as he has scored four goals and is two goals shy of leader James Rodriguez of Colombia.
And the Argentina captain along with his team-mates are looking to end their campaign on a high.
"We will play the most important match of our lives for our country," Messi wrote on his Facebook page.
"My dreams and my hopes are being fulfilled due to the hard work and sacrifice of a team that has given everything from match one. We knew it was possible. Our people, the Argentineans, they have carried us here. But the dream is not over yet, tomorrow we want to win and we are ready!"
Argentina coach Alejandro Sabella, meanwhile, wants his players to take inspiration from the nation's last World Cup triumph.
He has even taken advice from Carlos Bilardo, who was Argentina coach 28 years ago in Mexico, when they beat West Germany 3-2 in the final.
"Let's hope the result is the same, for starters," he said. "I was in Brazil when the match took place in 1986, and yes there are similarities. Let's hope the result will be repeated.
"We [Sabella and Bilardo] spoke about the importance of midfield, giving solidity to a team. You need to play continuously in the World Cup, and you have to be solid mentally and physically, with the right mindset.''