World Cup 2014 final - Germany vs Argentina: Lionel Messi will decide final, says David Beckham

The Argentina No 10 has a chance to take his place alongside Diego Maradona on Sunday

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.

LIVE: Germany vs Brazil World Cup 2014 final latest

Messi has often faced criticism that he has not reproduced his Barcelona form on the international stage, but has played a key role as the Albiceleste 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."

Read more: Messi with chance to emulate Maradona
Will Germany have an advantage because of extra rest?
How Germany conquered the football world

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."

 

Reviewing the tournament as a whole, Beckham relished the emergence of new teams and players on the world stage - none more so than Colombia and James Rodriguez.

"It's been a great World Cup. The fact you've seen teams like Costa Rica and Colombia perform the way they have and some great young players coming out of the competition, it's been great to see," he said.

Rodriguez was included among the nominees for FIFA's player of the tournament award after scoring six goals in Colombia's five games, most memorably a superb volley on the turn against Uruguay in the last 16.

Beckham said: "His goal for me was one of the best of the tournament - as a young player, to have that thought, the way he moved into the ball, the way he turned and struck the ball.

"I've heard about him quite a few times and people told me he was a great talent, but to come on to the world stage at his age and play the way he's played, says how talented he is.

"I think he's got a great future. He's such a talented player and he's a good-looking kid as well, he's got the whole package."

PA

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Kim Wilde began gardening in the 1990s when she moved to the countryside
peopleThe singer is leading an appeal for the charity Thrive, which uses the therapy of horticulture
Sport
Alexis Sanchez celebrates scoring a second for Arsenal against Reading
football
Life and Style
health
Voices
An easy-peel potato; Dave Hax has come up with an ingenious method in food preparation
voicesDave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
News
i100
News
Japan's population is projected to fall dramatically in the next 50 years (Wikimedia)
news
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own