Moscow confectioners build life-size chocolate Messi for Argentine striker's birthday

In addition, he led Argentina to the 2005 U-20 World Cup title and its U-23s to the 2008 Olympic gold medal.

Iceland are without a win in their last eight games - their longest winless run since 2011. Argentina's final group fixture on Tuesday is against Nigeria.

Messi, whose 64 career goals for Argentina, missed a penalty in Argentina's opening match, a 1-1 draw with Iceland. Against Croatia, the FC Barcelona talisman was anonymous. How much Messi could do to turn Argentina back into the World Cup contender it usually is, was already in question before the tournament.

"We know we're up against the wall but beating Croatia before gives us belief", said the midfielder.

After already achieving their first objective, Croatia would likely bench some of their players against Iceland.

Musa became, in the process, Nigeria's all-time highest scorer at World Cup finals with four goals and he the only man from his country to score in two different World Cups. "For the goal we conceded, there was an obvious foul by (defender) Pepe at the front post". Willy Caballero, Marcos Acuna and Enzo Perez also look set to make way for Franco Armani, Angel Di Maria and Ever Banega, respectively.

But Nigeria have told them to back off, wanting Uzoho, who is signed to Spain's Deportivo La Coruna, to focus on his World Cup campaign.

Without the five-time World Player of the Year, though, it is highly unlikely Argentina would even have qualified.

But he has played for Argentina 126 times.

Hallgrimsson is expecting a tough game, but the challenge will be to get more out of a goal-shy attack in a team that has drawn two and lost four of its last six games, while creative spark Gylfi Sigurdsson struggled with a knee injury.

"We have been practicing a few specificities, I do have everything clear in my mind but for this match I will not give the line-up", he added. "But there are people I have to work with on a daily basis and they are affected by these comments".

"My hair stands on end just thinking about that moment".

Here, Press Association Sport details what to look out for in the final matches of Groups C and D.

The two-time world champions must beat Nigeria in Saint Petersburg on Tuesday if they are to avoid a premature exit from the World Cup following a disastrous 3-0 defeat by Croatia. A draw would actually suit Denmark too, as it would put them out of reach of Australia in second place.

"But as you saw, the players have developed a stronger mentality (in China) because they become big players in big projects". A celebratory concert starting on the lakeside beach opposite will mark Messi's birthday, with a birthday cake presentation later, says the flyer.

  • Julie Sanders