Messi won't be rested
Argentina coach Diego Maradona has confirmed Lionel Messi will not be rested against Greece.
By Ben Collins
Last Updated: 21/06/10 1:56pm
Diego Maradona has confirmed Lionel Messi will not be rested for Argentina's final group game against Greece.
There had been suggestions the Albiceleste coach would leave the Barcelona star out with Argentina virtually assured of a place in the second round after winning their first two Group B matches.
Messi played the full 90 minutes against both Nigeria and South Korea on the back of a gruelling season with Barca.
And although Maradona fielded a new-look team in a training match, he insists that will not be his starting line-up in Polokwane on Tuesday.
Himself arguably the best footballer of all time, Maradona was reluctant to deprive the public of having another look at the current World Player of the Year on the game's biggest stage.
"Of course, we wanted to give Lionel Messi a break (in training) but he will play," he said.
"He always wants to play and I thought I should give him a break.
"But if you have a player as good as Leo, who is the best player in the world, I think it would be a sin not to give Messi to the people, to the team, and leave out the player who can certainly make the difference in a match."
Messi has missed a host of chances in both games so far but has also created many so Maradona is unconcerned about the 22-year-old's failure to find the net yet.
"If Messi is having a bad run then let him continue with that bad run because I'm extremely pleased with his performances," he said.
"He goes out to play and help his team-mates. Leo helps define the match and creates things for the other players."
A point will guarantee Argentina's passage into the last 16, although even if Greece and South Korea both win, they need a big swing in goal difference to dump Argentina out.