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Edinburgh looking forward to seeing what ‘little genuis’ can produce at World Cup

PUBLISHED: 15:00 21 June 2018

Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo and Argentina's Lionel Messi shake hands during a friendly in 2014. Photo: Martin Rickett / PA

Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo and Argentina's Lionel Messi shake hands during a friendly in 2014. Photo: Martin Rickett / PA

PA Archive/PA Images

The Leyton Orient head coach revealed his admiration for Lionel Messi and backed the Argentinean to come good in Russia

After an underwhelming performance in Argentina’s Group G opener against Iceland, Lionel Messi will be looking to get his World Cup campaign properly underway in this evening’s match with Croatia.

Many neutrals will be hoping to see the Barcelona star impress and one of them is Leyton Orient head coach Justin Edinburgh.

The 48-year-old hailed Messi’s class when talking about the World Cup to EnergyBet and referenced his ongoing battle with Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo.

With the Real Madrid man now on four goals, the Argentinean will be aiming to try and catch up against Croatia tonight (7pm).

O’s boss Edinburgh believes if Messi can help his country win this year’s World Cup it would ensure he will forever be remember as a great on the international stage.

“I think we all look forward to watching Messi and his and Ronaldo’s head-to-head over the last seven to eight years is quite remarkable,” said Orient’s head coach, when talking to EnergyBet about his tips for the 2018 World Cup.

“They have pushed each other to be the best in the world, but it would cap it off if Argentina could do something special at this World Cup.

“I think then Messi would go down as one of the greatest in all-time history along with Pele, (Johan) Cruyff and (Franz) Beckenbauer.

“I do look forward to seeing the little genius and hopefully he can progress and we can see the greatest players on the world stage doing there thing.”

Argentina play their second group game later and tomorrow (Friday) another South American giant returns to action.

Brazil take on Costa Rica at 1pm in Group E and the ex-Tottenham Hotspur left back knows who he thinks could triumph in Russia.

If it isn’t Selecao for the first time since 2002, it will be Messi’s country, who last won the competition in 1986.

“For me you always have to look at Brazil for what they can produce at tournaments,” said Edinburgh.

“Obviously there are some other good South American teams in there, but if you ask me the winner is between Brazil and Argentina.”

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