Rio Ferdinand says he was disappointed in Lionel Messi's semi-final performance against the Netherlands and wants to see more from him in the final.
Many criticised the Barcelona man for a game in which he did not match his usual high standards, with Dutch defenders such as Ron Vlaar ensuring Messi was not allowed enough space to do damage.
And Ferdinand believes the 27-year-old's inability to make a difference will ensure he does not go down in history as Argentina's best ever player.
If messi plays like tonight it won't matter if Argentina win the World Cup,Maradona will still remain their No.1. I'm hoping for #MessiTime— Rio Ferdinand (@rioferdy5) July 9, 2014
As Opta stats show, however, Messi is simply a victim of his own success.
|Team||Pos||Dribbles Won||Pass Accuracy (%)||Successful Final-Third Passes||Apps||Mins|
Against the Netherlands, Messi had 10 dribbles and completed 14 successful final-third passes, also completing 80% of his passes.
The Barcelona ace was unable to win Argentina the game in 120 minutes but coolly dispatched his penalty in the shootout, suggesting that critics may be expecting a little too much from the little Maestro on a game-to-game basis.
Ferdinand does admit, however, that Messi is capable of winning his country the World Cup if he alone plays at his best, although he believes Germany are the far superior team overall ahead of the final.
Germany will not have a better chance of winning a World Cup. By far a better team than Argentina & better subs to make a difference too.— Rio Ferdinand (@rioferdy5) July 9, 2014
All the same....if Messi plays the way we have seen many a time....it's game over...he is that good!!— Rio Ferdinand (@rioferdy5) July 9, 2014