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EXCLUSIVE: Messi's favourite insect a monkey

One of 32 World Cup stars speaking exclusively to FourFourTwo in the new issue – out now – Argentina’s great hope explains his nickname ‘The Flea’ and answers many readers’ burning question: what is his favourite insect?

“A monkey,” says Messi. “Monkeys have always been my favourite. They are cheeky!”

GEAR:Check out Argentina's WC kits

As cheeky and impish himself as his favourite non-insect, Messi admits any team needs “a bit of luck” to win the World Cup.

“In 2006, I thought Argentina were the best team,” he says, “but we lost on penalties to Germany. And some years before, England lost on penalties to Argentina. That’s why you need a bit of luck!”

The Barcelona front-man also recognises the rich history of Argentinian forwards before him – not least the current national coach, the ever-controversial Diego Maradona.

“Maradona did a lot for the Argentina shirt,” claims Messi, who will be wearing Maradona’s famous number 10. “I’m proud to wear it. It has something special about it.

“And I know Argentina will never has as good a centre-forward as Gabriel Batistuta again.”

He may choose to play down his own role in Argentina’s footballing history, but Messi is not quite so modest about his keepy-uppies. Asked how many times he can keep the ball up, Messi replies, “I’m not sure. A lot.”

The full interview with Lionel Messi, and 31 other World Cup stars including Kaka, David Villa and Steven Gerrard, is in the July issue of FourFourTwo, out now.

EXCLUSIVE:Villa - England capable of reaching final
Kaka - Talent isn't enough
Gerrard - This World Cup may be my last
De Rossi - Capello can lead England to glory

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