Diego Maradona has claimed Lionel Messi is under too much pressure to turn their homeland of Argentina into World Cup winners - and fears he could crack.

Messi rescued a subdued and frustrated display against Switzerland on Tuesday with the last-gasp run and pass for Angel Di Maria’s winner, to earn a quarter-final tie with Belgium.

Maradona, of course, followed his Hand of God and brilliant second against England in 1986 with another stunning double against the Belgians in the semi-finals of the World Cup finals in Mexico 28 years ago.

And the Argentine legend believes the weight of expectations to follow his example and lead his nation to the ultimate triumph is wearing Messi down as the countdown for glory begins in earnest.

Maradona said: “The kid is very lonely out on the pitch. I have a very strong feeling about what is happening and I can only describe it as bitterness, rage, anger.

“He just does not have enough support from the midfield and is expected to do it all on his own.