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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Lionel Messi needs World Cup win to 'seal his legacy' - Jurgen Klinsmann

Lionel Messi can only "seal his legacy" by winning the World Cup with Argentina, former United States coach Jurgen Klinsmann says.

Messi has won nearly every club trophy available to Barcelona, but he's never received a major honour with his national team.

Argentina finished as runners-up at the 2014 World Cup as well as at the Copa America in both 2015 and 2016 -- knocking out Klinsmann's U.S. squad in the semifinals last year.

And Klinsmann, who helped West Germany beat Argentina in the 1990 World Cup final, told Goal he's pulling for Messi to fill the only empty spot in his credentials.

"There's a chance he'll get it in Russia next year," said Klinsmann, who was fired by the U.S. in November.. "A player like Messi needs to seal his legacy by winning the World Cup. I want him to win it because he deserves it."

Lionel Messi has never won a World Cup or Copa America with Argentina.

Klinsmann also declined to name Messi as the superior player to Argentina legend Diego Maradona, saying they have different qualities.

"I admire Messi, I've always admired him," Klinsmann said. "But I also admire Maradona, especially because I played against him several times, in Inter against Napoli and in Argentina versus Germany. He is an artist because he saw what anyone else couldn't see.

"He knew what he was doing and what he was going to do, even before he got the ball. He was always an artist in the field.

"Messi is different, he is a perfectionist. He's a great character because he's humble. He has one main quality: he's a great scorer."

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