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By ESPN Staff

Maradona: Messi is like me

Argentina coach Diego Maradona expects Lionel Messi to emulate his World Cup winning display of 1986 in the 2010 tournament in South Africa.

Messi has been widely regarded as one of the best players in the world in recent years and Maradona, who was installed as national team coach last month, believes the Barcelona star will become even better and could lead Argentina to glory in South Africa.

"Messi still has a long way to go - I think he has another 10 years in front of him to improve," said Maradona at a press conference in Kolkata.

"He'll be doing fine in 2010, he'll be somewhat like me."

Maradona, whose first game in charge was a 1-0 defeat of Scotland on November 19, reiterated his delight at taking charge of the national team and stressed his desire to succeed.

"I don't feel any tension because they are a great team," he added. "The boys work very hard and take the responsibility to be successful on the big stage.

"I had enjoyed a lot as a player and I'm now using some of that experience as a coach and trainer.

"We already have a great composition and they are playing very well too. I want to bring about a balance and cohesion between team-mates so that they can play better as a team."

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