Buenos Aires: Former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has said that Argentina and Barcelona FC striker Lionel Messi is "the best one in the world".

In an interview published Thursday in Buenos Aires daily "La Nacion", Lula said he can't imagine a "worse nightmare" than to see Argentina become the champion in Brazil in 2014, reports media.

"Before we fought to know who was the best, if Maradona or Pele. And of course Pele was better. But on Friday, there are no doubts: Messi is the best one in the world," said Lula, who didn't mention his fellow citizen Neymar, from Sao Paulo's Santos FC, neither the Portuguese player Cristiano Ronaldo from Spain's Real Madrid CF.

Lula, a well-known fan of Sao Paulo's Corinthians, joked twice during the interview about the possibility that the Argentineans would win the 2014 World Cup, which would be the third one after Argentina 1978 and Mexico 1986.

"The only thing we don't want, and that we won't allow, is that Argentina tries to win the 2014 World Cup" and "we won't let them raise the World Cup in Rio," said Lula.

Argentina is in the first position in the South American qualification series for Brazil 2014, with 20 points, followed by Ecuador (17), Colombia (16), Venezuela, Chile and Uruguay (12), Peru and Bolivia (8), and Paraguay (7).


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