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

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
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

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

Christmas Appeal

Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

Is it always right to try to prolong life?

Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

What does it take for women to get to the top?

Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

French chefs campaign against bullying

A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
Paul Scholes column: I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season

Paul Scholes column

I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
Lewis Moody column: Stuart Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

Lewis Moody: Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

So what must the red-rose do differently? They have to take the points on offer 
Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game