Becks: This is Messi’s time

David Beckham has tipped Lionel Messi to light up the World Cup Final and guide Argentina to glory.

Speaking ahead of Sunday’s Final in Rio de Janeiro, the former England captain said it will be fitting for the superstar to appear on football’s biggest stage.

“He’s amazing,” said Beckham.

“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.

Messi and Muller will go head-to-head in Sunday’s Final

“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.”

Much maligned on the international stage, Messi has in the past faced accusations of being unable to transfer his form at club level to the international arena.

However, he has played a key role as the Albiceleste progressed to Sunday’s Final against Germany, and Beckham says his next game could be his defining one.

“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,” said Beckham in interview on his sponsor’s YouTube channel.

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 gives people so much pleasure with the way he plays and what makes him special is he plays as a team-mate as well”

David Beckham on Lionel Messi

He continued: “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.