Messi keen to face Rooney in World Cup final

Messi has been outstanding for Barcelona and was named FIFA World Player of the Year.

He said in the Mirror: “It would be great to play against Rooney, although I don’t think I would see much of him because we mostly play at opposite ends of the pitch.

“For me, England have a good balance. They look very dangerous when Peter Crouch plays with Rooney up front. I like Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard, too, but Rooney will be the key.

“It would be good to play against him in South Africa – preferably in the final, if that is possible.”

He added: “I know there is a lot of history between England and Argentina, but I also know our players admire the English game.

“Mentally they are strong, and they have good quality players. Capello has made them strong, I have seen them play many times on TV and I have been impressed with England.

“They have a chance but Spain will be tough, along with Brazil and Italy, and it will be a great World Cup with some surprises.

“It’s about belief as well – and Capello’s strong personality will be good for England.”