David Beckham has tipped Lionel Messi to play a key role in Sunday's World Cup final and has hailed the Argentina star's winning mentality.
Messi has scored four goals and assisted another on the way to the final. He will now lead his country out at the Maracana as Argentina looks to beat Germany and win the tournament for the first time since 1986.
Beckham acknowledged Joachim Low's talented squad but feels the Barcelona man is the only true "star" gracing the field on Sunday.
"He's amazing," said Beckham. "He gives people so much pleasure with the way he plays and what makes him special is he plays as a teammate as well, [he is] a good team player.
"He's got great individual skill, but winning means everything to him. If other teammates score goals he's the first one there to celebrate with them and I think that says a lot about him.
"Playing for Argentina, I'm sure there's a certain amount of pressure, but going as far as they've gone is incredible. It means so much to him, his family and everyone else around the world, the fact Messi's going to be playing on this stage.
"Germany came to the tournament with great experience, people are not too surprised they've got as far as this. There's no particular star, they've just a great group that play well together.
"Argentina have a group of talented players who play with a lot of passion, but Lionel, I'm just excited to see him play."
Beckham also recognized the achievements of competition surprise packages Costa Rica and Colombia after they both reached the quarterfinal stage for the first time in their history.
"It's been a great World Cup. The fact you've seen teams like Costa Rica and Colombia perform the way they have and some great young players coming out of the competition, it's been great to see," he said.