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Simeone: World Cup pressure is on Messi

The Atletico Madrid coach said "it'll be a great responsibility" for his compatriot to lead Argentina to a title this summer.

Diego Simeone says the pressure is on Lionel Messi to win the World Cup this summer.

The Argentina international scored 41 goals in 46 appearances in all competitions for Barcelona in 2013-14, and Simeone says "it'll be a great responsibility" for Messi to prove himself on the game's grandest stage.

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"After winning so much in Europe, it's normal that a World Cup could be tempting for him, that it could pose him extra responsibilities and pressures," the Atletico Madrid boss told Perform. "But it'll be a great responsibility for him. There is no doubt that winning a World Cup makes you more special.

"Few players have had the chance to win it [from] our country. So that's why he and his teammates will try to take Argentina to the best place in the world."

Indeed, Simeone doesn't doubt that Argentina boss Alejandro Sabella has constructed a side capable of lifting the trophy.

"It will be a unique opportunity [for Argentina] in Brazil," he said. "They will have to compete well as a team, the way they have done recently.  Alejandro has overseen this growth in the last stages of qualifying and also in recent friendlies. At the end of the day, the progress must be shown on the pitch for all to see."

After leading Atletico to a shock Liga title win, as well as the final of the Champions League, Simeone is now one of the most sought-after coaches in world soccer.

However, the former midfield enforcer says he would turn down the chance to lead his country if the opportunity presented itself after the World Cup.

"Of course I would like to coach Argentina one day. But for now, I feel that I still want to coach from the touchline every day," he said. "I look at the best national head coaches like Luis Aragones or Vicente del Bosque and I think you need to find the experience and wisdom you get from a long managerial career in order to be in the best seat in the world — your national side's.

"You need to be calm and patient and I'm not sure I have that right now due to my restlessness to be there on the pitch close to my players every day. Coaching a national side is different. That's why I'm convinced that you need an experience given by time and a patience given by the years to be in that place."

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