There has been too little love between Messi and the World Cup in his three previous tournaments.
Argentina should get out of the group stages comfortably, but it remains to be seen how far Messi's brilliance can take them.
It is actually a wonder Argentina's problems do not run deeper, given how the AFA was operating without a president for nearly two years after board members were embroiled in the Federation Internationale de Football Association scandal and the organisation flirted with bankruptcy.
As Chile's coach, he stopped Messi and Argentina from scoring in 120 minutes of football in the first of those two Copa triumphs on penalties. This year's World Cup, therefore, offers the Argentina star probably his last chance to win the elusive crown.
"As it is the first game of the World Cup, it is hard to start playing at the best level", he said. Is the great player he who elevates teams into the pantheon through moments of breathtaking individual brilliance or he who, like a conductor, orchestrates the team for a song of victory?
Two weeks ago, the Independent released the results of a poll that stated that despite the claims of Messi's throng of young fans, Edson Arantes do Nascimento, known to the world as Pele, is still considered the best player ever.More news: Who Is Spidergeddon’s Mystery Spider-Man? We Have Some Theories
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Goncalo Guedes, 21, who played up front alongside Ronaldo in their last friendly, a 3-0 win over Algeria, was magnificent for Valencia last season.
Right now, Messi has 15 caps, five goals and three assists for Argentina.
Tevez, who didn't make the Argentina squad for the tournament, thinks the Barcelona ace will star in Russian Federation. This page will be updating with each Messi and Ronaldo match, where you'll be able to draw your own conclusions about how these two are playing.
But after the glorious stint of Maradona and his Argentine Argonauts in the late 80's, this current generation's crop of players have been the closest to replicating the storied squad's return to the promised land with Lionel Messi at the forefront. They need Angel Di Maria - the archangel who most likely holds the key to eternal glory.
Iceland, ranked 17 places behind Argentina at 22nd in the world, topped their group in European qualifying with comfortable wins over Croatia, Ukraine and Turkey.
Having never won a World Cup, the pressure is on Messi to deliver before his exemplary career comes to an end.