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Crespo backs Argentina for World Cup glory

Despite being one of the traditional powerhouses of international football, the South Americans have not lifted the trophy since 1986.

Crespo, a part of three Argentina squads that tried and failed during the intervening years, is hoping the class of 2014 can emerge triumphant - although he admits they would require a hasty exit from the country of their fierce rivals should they achieve the feat.

"If Argentina win the World Cup in Brazil, I advise them to have a helicopter nearby because they're going to get killed," the former striker joked.

"It would be beautiful. Argentina's a great team but it's been a while since they have made it to the semi-finals (24 years).

"We should understand that we're a very good team, that we have a chance but that we've only won two World Cups."

A major reason for Argentine hope is the presence of Lionel Messi, who many hope can add to a glittering CV by captaining his country to glory.

Asked if it will be Messi's World Cup, Crespo replied: "God willing. Hopefully."