The 1978 World Cup-winner feels the Barcelona star will need back-up if Argentina are to go all the way at this summer's tournament in Brazil
The former striker scored twice in the 1978 final when Argentina beat the Netherlands 3-1, but Kempes highlighted the need for his nation's other star men to step up to the plate and ease the pressure on Messi.
"You can put the players on the pitch but they always move and systems change. I think, though, that Messi has to be a special case and that the other nine outfield players should support him," Kempes told the official Fifa website.
"But one player on his own is not going to win you the World Cup. That’s impossible.
"He can have an important part to play, no question, but there’s no way he can win every game for you by himself."
Kempes then went on to admit that Argentina's defence might not be at the same level as their attack, but insisted that he has faith in national team coach Alejandro Sabella.
"Argentina have a chance to win it although there’s a big difference between the front line and the back line.
"But Sabella has put his faith in these players, in the goalkeeper who’s not playing for his club [Sergio Romero] and in the defenders, and we should trust him."
Argentina meet Bosnia and Herzegovina, Iran and Nigeria in the group stage.