Lionel Messi's quest for immortality in an Argentina shirt continues as his nation face Iran in Belo Horizonte on Saturday.
Messi got his competition off to a flying start as his country beat Bosnia-Herzegovina, with the little genius scoring a fabulous winning goal.
Argentina will now look to make short work of booking their spot in the knockout phase of the tournament.
Here is how you can catch this important Group F game:
When: Saturday, June 21, at 5 p.m. BST (12 p.m. ET)
Where: Belo Horizonte, Brazil
TV: ITV/ITV HD (UK only); ESPN (US only)
Messi Finally Arrives at World Cup
For many years Lionel Messi has worn the tag of the world's best player like a badge of honour as he struts around La Liga and Europe in a Barcelona shirt.
But he has never quite done it in the colours of his country and has seemed a different player on the international stage.
However, in Argentina's first game of the World Cup in Brazil, the diminutive genius scored what could be a goal that ignites his tournament.
Messi now has 41 goals from his 83 Argentina caps, per Soccerway, and although this great record is nothing to be ashamed of, it is now time for the forward to really shine on the biggest stage of all.
But the pressure on Messi is immense, and the standards he is expected to hit are different to any other player at the World Cup.
Against Bosnia-Herzegovina, Messi showed enlightening glimpses of his best standard as opposition goalkeeper Asmir Begovic agreed, per Greg Stobart of Goal.com. The player said of Messi:
We lost but the difference was the best player in the world. Every time he got the ball, he made a difference. You can feel the pace of his play, the power he has. We tried to get three people around him every time he got the ball, but he shook everyone off.
He makes that kind of difference. They have match-winners all around the pitch but Messi was special. Unfortunately we couldn’t keep him out.
If Messi can continue as he means to go on against Iran, this competition could well be his crowning glory. As Brazil stutter their way through their opening ties, Messi can be the player who drives Argentina to glory on South American soil.
A win will see Messi and company book their places in the next round of the World Cup, and 2014 could represent the year that Barcelona's talisman joins the football immortals.
Iran coach Carlos Queiroz quipped, per Andrew Cawthorne of Reuters: "Messi could be the best player in the world - if he was human."
If Messi shows his superhero strengths against Iran, he can begin to position himself as genuine contender for the tournament's top scorer. That, combined with a deep run by Argentina, will be key to establishing his World Cup legacy.
4-3-3 the Formation for Argentina
It was somewhat of a surprise that Argentina coach Alejandro Sabella started the match against Bosnia with a defensive 5-3-2. The formation does not play to Messi's strengths, but the coach appeared to rely on caution rather than flair.
The approach was clearly embedded in the team's psyche as they struggled to move through the gears in the first-half, with Messi looking quiet and frustrated.
However, a second-half switch to 4-3-3 removed the shackles and saw the second-favourites for the World Cup play some improved football. Sabella is now likely to stick with 4-3-3 against a team that will pose Argentina few problems.
And with Messi publicly backing the system, per Karl Ritter of Associated Press via Yahoo, it will be hard for Sabella to revert to defensive tactics against such lowly opposition.
Argentina are likely to go with Gonzalo Higuain and Sergio Aguero to partner Messi in attack, but both players have suffered with injury in recent weeks.
If the three players can gel on Saturday, there is every chance this could end with the World Cup's biggest scoreline of the tournament so far.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!