World Cup: Argentina vs. Brazil, Maradona and Pele

Beating Brazil in the final would be like an orgasm

Argentina legend Diego Maradona claims that beating hosts and bitter rivals Brazil in the World Cup final would be "like an orgasm".

Maradona, who famously helped guide his country to World Cup glory in 1986, believes Alejandro Sabella's men should be aiming to at least reach the final at Maracana on July 13.

Both Argentina and Brazil are among the tournament favourites, but Sabella's side will first have to escape Group F, which also contains debutants Bosnia-Herzegovina, Iran and Nigeria.

If Argentina were to reach the final and subsequently pip five-time world champions Brazil to the title, Maradona has no doubts that it would be the perfect victory.

The 53-year-old told Diario Ole: "Hopefully they can do it [reach the final]. The target will be to reach that point."

"There, Argentina can open up against Brazil, who will surely be in the final. To beat Brazil in the final would be like an orgasm."

The former Barcelona and Napoli star also continued his long-standing feud with Brazil legend Pele before dismissing comparisons between Neymar and Lionel Messi.

"How have I been received in Brazil? Better than Pele, although that is not saying much," he continued.

"You can tell Pele to go back to the museum. It's clear that the distance between Messi and Neymar is the same between Maradona and Pele."

"Neymar is today's Pele. In Brazil he is bigger, everyone is looking to him as the great figure of Brazilian football."

Maradona also believes Messi will be able to hit his best form for Argentina this year, something he hasn't done at a major international tournament as of yet.

"If an individual inspires the team with his brilliance, it helps immensely," he wrote in Times of India. "That is why I believe the presence of Messi and Ronaldo will help Argentina and Portugal play better.

"These two are the best of this generation and both are yet to play at the best of their abilities in the biggest tournament."

Ronaldo and Messi the best of their generation

Diego Maradona has hailed Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi as the two best players of their generation and believes there is still more to come from them at international level.

The Real Madrid and Barcelona stars have lifted the Ballon d'Or six times between them and dominated the game's greatest individual prize since Ronaldo was named the world's best player for the first time in 2008.

However, despite their incredible exploits at club level, critics have questioned their influence for Portugal and Argentina, but Maradona has backed both to shine at the World Cup in Brazil.

The Argentina great told the Times of India: "If an individual inspires the team with his brilliance, it helps immensely. That is why I believe the presence of Messi and Ronaldo will help Argentina and Portugal play better."

"These two are the best of this generation and both are yet to play at the best of their abilities in the biggest tournament. It is difficult for them to recreate the magic that they produce while playing for their clubs, but they have the ability to do so."

"A manager has to ensure an environment where the team's goals are never sacrificed. At the same time, he must ensure that the gifted individual gets the space to express himself."

Maradona - who famously inspired Argentina to World Cup glory back in 1986 - then spoke of the challenge posed by Louis van Gaal's Netherlands.

The Oranje were runners-up at the 2010 tournament after losing out to Spain 1-0 in the final, but are not expected to be among the front-runners this time around.

The 53-year-old was left dismayed by their physical approach four years ago, but spoke highly of the star names at Van Gaal's disposal.

"The Netherlands have always produced exciting footballers. Arjen Robben is definitely one of them. Under Louis van Gaal, Robin van Persie has played well.

"But I was not happy with the football the Dutch played in the 2010 final. I expected skill to dominate, while they were intent on exerting physical power."


Neymar too young to dominate World Cup

Diego Maradona says Brazil star Neymar is "too young" to dominate a World Cup on his own, but has applauded his boundless potential.

The 22-year-old won the Golden Ball award for best player at the 2013 Confederations Cup after inspiring the Selecao to a 3-0 victory over Spain in the final.

Twelve months on and Neymar will again be expected to shoulder Brazil's attacking burden and lead them to a sixth World Cup success.

But, with just one season under his belt in Europe following his move to Barcelona last summer, Maradona believes the tournament has come too soon for the former Santos starlet to make such a big impact.

"Neymar is an exciting youngster with exceptional talent," the Argentina great told the Times of India.

"What he did for Brazil in the Confederations Cup was extraordinary. But he is too young to light up a World Cup on his own.

Brazil will definitely root for him, though, especially after he has shown what he is capable of."

Maradona took charge of Argentina at the 2006 World Cup and, after assessing the quality of the current Albiceleste squad, thinks his country are well set to challenge in Brazil.

"Alejandro Sabella has been in charge of Argentina for almost three years and has developed a core group where [Lionel] Messi is the indisputable leader," he continued.

"Mascherano has no problems in supporting him since they play for the same club. And I was happy to see Angel Di Maria supporting [Lionel] Messi when Barcelona fans found fault with their prized possession."

"It reflects a healthy relationship between them, although they are fierce rivals in club football. And I won't be surprised if Sergio Aguero gets going."


Pele: Neymar goes down too easily

The three time World Cup winner feels the Barcelona player has not developed as well as he expected and needs to learn to stay on his feet more

Brazil legend Pele says Neymar has to win the World Cup to become one of the world's best players and must stop going down so easily.

Although the 22-year-old is known as one of the brightest stars in world football at present, he has developed a reputation for diving and going to the ground under seemingly innocuous challenges.

And Pele believes that he can become one of the best to have played the game if he can pick up a World Cup winners' medal in his career and learn to stay on his feet.

"He still has to overcome some obstacles, especially win a World Cup to be the best player in the world," the three-time World Cup winner told Bild Sport.

"He needs to change though. Neymar needs to get his emotions under control and keep a cool head in duels."

"And he has to learn to play standing up. He must not go down too fast. Therefore, the transfer to Barcelona was the best thing that could happen for Brazil as teams in Europe play harder, the defenders stay tighter to the man."

"He is on a good path. But he's still far off what I expected of him."


Only a few hours left! ONTD, who will you be rooting for if there happens to be a Brazil/Argentina finale?