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Lionel Messi deserves to lift trophy

Thursday, 5 June 2014 - 6:45am IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: dna

The FIFA World Cup makes you fall in love with football. Even if you are not a regular follower of the sport, you are bound to get hooked onto the tournament.

Like many, it will be impossible for me to resist the temptation of watching all the matches. Moreover, Spain is like my second home because I play there quite often. I have come across some of the craziest and passionate football fans, especially those affiliated to Real Madrid and Barcelona. However, I am yet to watch a game there.

The only match I have seen live at a stadium was India take on Bayern Munich in New Delhi two years ago. The atmosphere was electric. It was Baichung Bhutia's farewell game. I can visualise how it is going to be in Brazil.

I wish to see the European and South American countries battle it out in the knockouts. Many of the South Americans play in European leagues. They also understand and respect each other's game. The music, atmosphere and occasion will egg them on. It will bring the best out of them.

I just can't wait to see how Barcelona clubmates Lionel Messi of Argentina and Neymar of Brazil react when they face off at the World Cup. It will be nothing less than a blockbuster if we get a Spain Argentina and Germany-Brazil line-up for the semis.

Defending champions Spain are loaded with big names like Xavi Hernandez, Gerard Pique, Andres Iniesta and Sergio Ramos among others. Germany have 2010 hero Thomas Mueller, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Mesut Ozil, all capable of destroying the opposition.

Having said that, no one can take The Netherlands lightly as they were runners-up in 2010 and haven't run out of steam. The energetic Arjen Roben, Robin Van Persie and Wesley Sneijder are still going strong.
My wish list also includes watching Messi lift the trophy. Not because he is the best in the world, but because he deserves it.

—Chess ace Tania Sachdev is a Woman Grandmaster. She spoke to Nikhilesh Pathak

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