Not many football followers will go against Lineker’s prediction, and certainly not former Liverpool and Real Madrid striker Michael Owen, who has backed 26-year-old Messi to be the top scorer in Brazil.
Messi did not have the best of seasons for Barcelona in 2013-14, as the Blaugrana failed to win a major trophy. The Catalan giants lost the La Liga title on the final day of the campaign to Atletico Madrid, got beaten by arch-rivals Real Madrid in the final of the Copa del Rey and failed to progress beyond the last eight of the Champions League.
The Argentine star’s performances were criticised by many of the Barca fans, who felt that he did not give enough towards the end of the season because he had one eye on the World Cup. However, 28 goals and 11 assists in just 31 La Liga appearances and eight goals in seven Champions League matches are hardly signs of a poor season.
Argentina will head to Brazil as one of the top favourites to win the World Cup, and Messi will be their big hope. Much is expected of the four-time Ballon d’Or winner and he will be determined to deliver the goods this time.