Alejandro Sabella: 'We never doubted Lionel Messi'

Argentina's forward and captain Lionel Messi celebrates after scoring his team's second goal during the Group F football match between Argentina and Bosnia Hercegovina at the Maracana Stadium in Rio De Janeiro during the 2014 FIFA World Cup on June 15, 20
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Alejandro Sabella claims that there was never any doubt that Lionel Messi would be at his best in Brazil.

Alejandro Sabella has insisted that he and the rest of the Argentina camp never doubted that Lionel Messi would deliver at the World Cup.

Messi scored four times as Argentina finished top of Group F, and Sabella believes that the Barcelona forward is as important to the team as Diego Maradona was to the side who recorded victory in the 1986 tournament.

"Messi is playing an amazing World Cup, but that is what everyone expected," the Argentina coach told reporters. "He expected it, so did his colleagues and so did all of Argentina in general.

"We are happy for him and the team. Is he as important to us as Diego Maradona was in 1986?

"Maradona was a very important player at that time and Messi is important as well."

Argentina meet Switzerland in the last 16 on Tuesday.

Switzerland's forward Admir Mehmedi celebrates after scoring during a Group E football match between Switzerland and Ecuador at the Mane Garrincha National Stadium in Brasilia during the 2014 FIFA World Cup on June 15, 2014
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