Messi can't win the World Cup on his own - Ardiles

The Argentina great believes that the Albiceleste need to rely on the forward less and other players need to begin to contribute if they are to have a successful World Cup
Ossie Ardiles believes that Argentina are over-reliant on Lionel Messi and the rest of the players need to step up when they meet Belgium on Saturday.

The Barcelona forward has been integral to the Albiceleste's progress so far, scoring four of his side's seven goals and leading them to a quarter-final encounter with Belgium.

However, Ardiles feels that Alejandro Sabella's team is running the risk of becoming completely dependent on their star player and that others need to take some of the burden from his shoulders by delivering better performances.

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"At the moment [Argentina] look like they have just one tactic: Give the ball to Messi and he will do the rest!," the 61-year-old wrote in the Times of India.

"Yes, Messi has had a wonderful tournament. He has been named man of the match in every game. So far, so good but we need the rest of the team to do a lot more.

"Messi cannot win the World Cup on his own. Belgium will not come on to just defend but also attack when they can. They are going to test the Argentina defence a lot more than the other teams. That's why this is going to be a very tricky game for us.

"We cannot keep depending on 'Messi Magic' and the rest of them need to step up now. The only ones who have done this are [Angel] Di Maria and [Javier] Mascherano, who has been doing a good job in the defence.

"We need more up front especially from [Ezequiel] Lavezzi and [Gonzalo] Higuain, who has played all four games but been pretty much absent."

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Ardiles, who was a World Cup winner in 1978, warned his compatriots that Belgium will be a tough proposition in the quarter-final.

He remarked: "Belgium are the dark horses and I think they are happy to be so. Yes, Argentina are the favourites to go through but the margin is going to be very small. They could be 'surprised' but I wouldn't call it one as Belgium are equipped to produce some very good football.

"Belgium call themselves the 'golden generation', the best team that they have had. They are going to be very tough, dangerous and go all out against us.

"All their tactics will be about how to stop Messi. That would be every team's plan but having a plan is one thing, making it actually work is another."