Argentina coach Diego Maradona has dismissed suggestions he might rest Lionel Messi for tomorrow`s final Group B clash against Greece, insisting it would be a "sin" to deprive the public of seeing the best player on the planet.

Prior to the start of the World Cup there had been concerns about Messi`s state of health following a gruelling season with Barcelona, and the 22-year-old then played the full 90 minutes in Argentina`s opening two matches against Nigeria and South Korea.

With Argentina having won both those games to establish a three-point lead at the top of Group B heading into the final round of fixtures, it might have crossed Maradona`s mind to give Messi a break for the clash with Greece.

And that prospect seemed even more likely as Maradona tested a radically different team in training to the one that beat South Korea 4-1, with Messi one of those not involved.

However, Maradona insisted today that the reigning FIFA World Player of the Year would feature in tomorrow`s match in Polokwane.

"Lionel Messi always wants to play and I thought I should give him a break (in training), but if you have a player as good as Leo, who is the best player in the world, I think it would be a sin not to give Messi to the people, to the team, and leave out the player who can certainly make the difference in a match," said Maradona, whose side are not yet guaranteed a place in the last 16 as three teams can still finish on six points in Group B.

"We of course wanted to give Lionel Messi a break (in training). He will play."

Maradona also played down Messi`s lack of success in front of goal.

The Barca ace had plenty of chances to score against both Nigeria and South Korea but could not make the most of them, with great goalkeeping denying him on a number of occasions.

"If Messi is having a bad run then let him continue with that bad run, because I'm extremely pleased with Messi`s performances," said Maradona.

"He goes out to play and help his team-mates. Leo helps define the match and creates things for the other players."

Argentina have started the tournament in fine form and are one of only three teams to have maximum points from two games so far, the others being Brazil and Holland.

Their performance against South Korea, when Gonzalo Higuain scored a hat-trick in a convincing win, will have sent out a warning shot to their rivals in a World Cup that has seen many of the supposed top sides struggle to get going.

Maradona preferred not to get drawn into the hype surrounding his team though, saying: "We're not favourites and we`re not the least-fancied team, we`re here to play a World Cup. I don't want to be a favourite, not before coming to South Africa and not now.

"All the teams here can score against you, so you have to be wary all the time.

"I don`t like to talk about favourite teams, because the favourites can also stumble occasionally. We just want to be the same as normal. We're here to keep our fans happy, to play the way we want to play, and I think things so far are going well."

Maradona also believes that, despite the troubles suffered by the likes of Italy, Germany, France, Spain and England, he expects most of the big guns to make it through the group stages.

"So far there's been no outstanding team, we're just starting the World Cup, we're just revving up the engines as it were," he said.

"I think it`s been a beautiful World Cup so far, and many of the sides who were supposedly already qualified for the next stage even before the tournament are now fighting an uphill battle.

"Spain it seemed initially were coming to pick up the World Cup and we were all fighting for second place, that`s not true.

"It can always happen that the smaller teams can grow against the bigger teams and these things can happen.

"France, Spain, although I don't think Spain will have problems, God it must be a huge scandal in Italy when they see that.

"(But) remember Italy in 1982, they drew against Peru and Cameroon, everyone wanted to kill them, and then suddenly they were champions of the world, beating West Germany in the final.

"I think we`re all going to make it. Some will have more trouble than others but I think we'll find the usual suspects in the later rounds."

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