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The Argentina head coach has revealed his admiration for the Barcelona forward ahead of their World Cup 2014 qualifier with Venezuela

Alejandro Sabella has described Lionel Messi as a "legend" and praised his incredible development into a "global star".

In a press conference ahead of the Albiceleste's World Cup 2014 qualifier against Venezuela, Sabella showered praise on the Barcelona forward and what he has achieved in his career so far.  

“Messi is a legend in football. What he has done in recent years has been impressive and he is now a major global star."

Argentina are currently enjoying a great run of form which has seen them climb up to third in the Fifa world rankings, and they have not lost a qualifying match since October 2011.

Sabella’s men are currently top of their South American group with 20 points, but the 58-year-old is wary of Venezuela, who were the side to inflict that last qualifying defeat on his team 17 months ago.

He added: "Venezuela have improved a lot, they have a great coach and are very compact. They have a very respectable team and a lot of their players play abroad.

"We have guarded optimism. You have to respect the opponent."

 

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