Playmaker Messi has scored four goals at the tournament so far, as well as converting his penalty during the shootout victory over the Netherlands in the semi-finals.
Meanwhile, holding midfielder Mascherano has earned plaudits for his defensive work and distribution of the ball.
With that in mind, former Argentine international Ardiles has admitted that the duo will need to continue that form if the team are to stand any chance of lifting the trophy for a third time.
"As far as Argentina are concerned, once again all eyes will be on Messi," the 61-year-old told the Times of India. "This is his first World Cup final, he's 27 now and in four years he will be 31. I won't say it is 'now or never' for him because he could always play in Russia. But he is in his prime right now, and will be charged up.
"Messi needs to have a really good day at the office, and for this the others in the team have to play the supporting role to perfection. The midfield has shown that they are pretty accomplished and I hope that they are able to do that on Sunday. Javier Mascherano has been solid and needs to be yet again."
Argentina last won the World Cup back in 1986.