David Beckham is thrilled to see Lionel Messi feature in the World Cup final and is backing the Argentina star to lead his team to victory.
Messi has often faced criticism that he has not reproduced his Barcelona form on the international stage, but has played a key role as Argentina progressed to Sunday’s final against Germany.
“He’s amazing,” Beckham said in an interview on Adidas football’s YouTube channel.
“He gives people so much pleasure with the way he plays and what makes him special is he plays as a team-mate as well, a good team player.
“He’s got great individual skill, but winning means everything to him. If other team-mates score goals he’s the first one there to celebrate with them and I think that says a lot about him.
“Playing for Argentina, I’m sure there’s a certain amount of pressure, but going as far as they’ve gone is incredible. It means so much to him, his family and everyone else around the world, the fact Messi’s going to be playing on this stage.”
Having been reluctant to offer a prediction for the final, Beckham – who will be at the game with his children – eventually tipped Argentina to triumph 3-1.
He said: “It’s just amazing that these two teams have come together.
“Germany came to the tournament with great experience, people are not too surprised they’ve got as far as this. There’s no particular star, they’ve just a great group that play well together.
“Argentina have a group of talented players who play with a lot of passion, but Lionel, I’m just excited to see him play.”