Messi is the best in the world, admits Brazil boss Menezes

Brazil boss Mano Menezes has acknowledged that, in Argentina attacker Lionel Messi, his troops are going up against the best player in the world on Saturday.

The Selecao coach needed no reminding of the Barcelona forward's ability, but after watching a recording of the diminutive No.10 in action in last weekend's World Cup qualifying victory over Ecuador, he is acutely aware of the need to starve the three-time Ballon d'Or winner of possession.

"We will play against the best in the world," Menezes told ESPN Brasil. "He has great individual ability and the ball simply can not reach him with the same freedom that it did during their clash with Ecuador.

"Another problem we have is that Argentina is already up to competitive pace [whereas Brazil have only been playing friendlies]. We must be prepared for a tough game."

Reflecting on his time in charge of the national team to date, Menezes stated that he is satisfied with how things have progressed to date.

"I am very pleased with the work done," the 49-year-old mused. "Hopefully we will confirm our evolution against a great opponent.

"If we exhibit the same attitude in this type of game, the team will have taken a further step towards confirming that we are on track and will be properly prepared for the Olympics."

Brazil's mouth-watering clash with Argentina in New Jersey will get under way at 21:00CET.

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