Managerial mastermind Jose Mourinho has revealed his picks in RT’s exclusive blockbuster World Cup predictor - Match Mourinho - and has picked “little fellow” Lionel Messi for glory in the knockout stage.
Two-time Champions League winner Mourinho has used his tactical prowess to map out the route of each team in the 2018 World Cup, which begins on Thursday at Luzhniki Stadium when Russia take on Saudi Arabia.
Mourinho has chosen ‘La Albiceleste’ to advance from what has been dubbed the World Cup’s ‘Group of Death’, alongside Iceland, Croatia and Nigeria. The man in the Manchester United hotseat picked Argentina to top the group with a cheeky: "I think the little fellow (Messi) will finish first."
That set up a last 16 showdown with the men from down under in Australia. The Portuguese coach then chose the South Americans to bounce over the Socceroos, to negotiate a quarter final with 2010 World Cup winners Spain.
“And in this side Argentina-Australia, I’m going to say… (Argentina).” Initially hesitant at picking a winner for the match between two international footballing heavyweights, Mourinho was not so confident of taking the next step and admitted: “I’m going to leave (this fixture), because I cannot predict this one.”
But the Special One has never been one to shirk a challenge of wits. Instead, Mourinho finally settles on a special player to shine in an attractive - if not heated - Hispanic meeting of football superpowers.
“Spain-Argentina… wow! The best team, against a good team with that little fellow… I go for them Argentina,” came the eventual decision.
Mourinho, ever the charmer, used the same affectionate term as before to pick Barcelona superstar and Argentina icon Messi to make a step closer to that elusive international trophy and justify his upiquitous "next Maradona" tag.
The Argentina team are currently putting the finishign touches to their World Cup preparations in Bronitsky, in the Moscow region, where Messi - dubbed by many the G.O.A.T or the 'Messiah' - has already been mobbed by jubilant fans.
Messi is also the current national team captain, drawing another lineal line from Maradona to himself. Will 'little fellow' Lionel step out of the huge shadow cast by Diego Armando? We will find out what Jose thinks soon.