Juan Roman Riquelme: Argentina captain or not, Lionel Messi is the best in the world

The talismanic No.10 supports Sabella's rumoured decision to install Lio as Mascherano's replacement, while looking forward to his own upcoming international test against Brazil
Boca Juniors star Juan Roman Riquelme is convinced that Barcelona's Lionel Messi would make an excellent successor to Javier Mascherano, insisting that his former international team-mate is far and away the best in the world, regardless of whether he receives the armband.

The Albiceleste will arrive in India in the next few days ahead of a friendly against Venezuela, and Messi is expected to lead the team out in one of the most notable changes new coach Alejandro Sabella is planning.

The trainer all but confirmed that the Catalan-based maestro would receive the captain's armband, telling reporters:"I have already decided who the captain will be. He scored a goal on Friday," referring to Lio's strike in the European Super Cup.

And questioned over the news, Roman was certain that it was the right choice.

"If the coach has chosen to give him the armband, that is phenomenal," the veteran playmaker told FoxSports on Monday.

"Messi, with the captain's armband or without, is the best on the planet. Players like him don't need the armband to play as they do. We are lucky that he is Argentine and we must enjoy his presence. When there are players as unique as him, wearing the armband changes absolutely nothing."

Riquelme was also left with good news to celebrate earlier in the month, after learning that Sabella had called him up to the local Seleccion. He looked forward to the team's upcoming clash against Brazil's domestic XI, and foresaw a huge match.

"We know that we have a massive game against Brazil, and we will try to play it in the best possible way," he affirmed.

"I hope we do well, enjoy it and can give joy to the country."

The 33-year-old finished on light-hearted terms, asserting that when he ended an illustrious career he was weighing up two options; going into coaching, or opening a cigarette kiosk in his native Buenos Aires.