Leo Messi

FIFA WORLD CUP 2014 player

Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi is forward for Barcelona and the Argentinian national team. The 26 year old has been widely considered as the best player in the world, having become the first player in history to win the Ballon D'Or four times.

The prospect of an Argentina v Brazil Final is coming closer. If you make it, is this the Final everyone wants?
Of course an all-South American Final would be something special. South American fans are full of passion, and will cheer their hearts out for their team. To be playing in a World Cup Final, with an incredible atmosphere in the Maracana – it's what every football player dreams of. But we need to make sure we get there first. Our attention now is on the game against Belgium and we are solely focusing on that at the moment.

Are you pleased to have silenced some doubters with your four World Cup goals so far?
I try not to concern myself with what people say – I just focus on myself and the team. If we focus on our game plan and stick to our tactics, then our football will do the talking. If I keep scoring goals it enables Argentina to progress further in the tournament, which is the moste important.

Are you pleased with the performance of the team so far?
The team is playing well, and we've worked hard to get this far. Switzerland was a real test in the last round, but we stuck to our guns and continued to play our game. We also have a solid defence that allows us more freedom higher up the pitch. Most importantly there is a good atmosphere in the dressing room and we are united as a team.

How do you rate your next opponents Belgium?
Belgium has looked solid throughout the tournament, but they showed against the USA that they are beginning to grow as an attacking force. They have a lot of talent across the pitch and on the bench - Hazard, Witsel, Kompany to name a few. They're a strong, tough team, unlike any we have played in the tournament so far, but we relish the challenge.

Are there any players who have impressed you? How about your fellow adidas star James Rodriguez?
Rodriguez has been sensational for Colombia; his goal against Uruguay was a work of art. They are an exciting team to watch.

What do you make of the early Spanish exit?
Spain was dealt a very difficult group. This World Cup has been full of surprises, and many great teams have already fallen to lesser known footballing nations. Spain has many good players, and they will be come back stronger and more determined at the next tournament.

What do you make of the amount of goals scored this tournament? How is playing with brazuca?
It's been phenomenal! People will be talking about this World Cup for many years, as each game has offered something exciting for the fans. It's what football is all about, and I feel privileged to be a part of it. As for brazuca, it's a joy to play with and performs perfectly in all conditions. Every World Cup needs an iconic ball to go with it, and this year is no exception.

Golden Boot or World Cup win?
World Cup. Every time. As a football player winning the World Cup it is the highest greate achievement than. It is something you dream of a as a child, and the dream never goes away. I've asked my Barcelona teammates Xavi, Iniesta and Pique, how it feels to lift the trophy, but it is something they cannot put into words. We are doing everything we can to make the dream a reality.

Are you feeling any extra pressure as captain?
I am feeling healthy pressure. It is a great honour to captain Argentina and I will channel any extra pressure into my performances for my country. I want to repay that trust by leading Argentina to World Cup victory.