Argentina's Lionel Messi scores his side's 2nd goal during the group F World Cup soccer match between Nigeria and Argentina at the Estadio Beira-Rio in Porto Alegre, Brazil, Wednesday, June 25, 2014. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)
Argentina's Lionel Messi scores his side's 2nd goal during the group F World Cup soccer match between Nigeria and Argentina at the Estadio Beira-Rio in Porto Alegre, Brazil, Wednesday, June 25, 2014. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)
Argentina's Lionel Messi takes off the captain's armband before he is substituted during the group F World Cup soccer match between Nigeria and Argentina at the Estadio Beira-Rio in Porto Alegre, Brazil, Wednesday, June 25, 2014. (AP Photo/Victor R. Caivano)
Argentina's Lionel Messi takes off the captain's armband before he is substituted during the group F World Cup soccer match between Nigeria and Argentina at the Estadio Beira-Rio in Porto Alegre, Brazil, Wednesday, June 25, 2014. (AP Photo/Victor R. Caivano)
Argentina's Lionel Messi celebrates after scoring his side's second goal during the group F World Cup soccer match against Nigeria at the Estadio Beira-Rio in Porto Alegre, Brazil, Wednesday, June 25, 2014. (AP Photo/Jon Super)
Argentina's Lionel Messi celebrates after scoring his side's second goal during the group F World Cup soccer match against Nigeria at the Estadio Beira-Rio in Porto Alegre, Brazil, Wednesday, June 25, 2014. (AP Photo/Jon Super)
Argentina's Lionel Messi takes a penalty kick to score his side's second goal during the group F World Cup soccer match against Nigeria at the Estadio Beira-Rio in Porto Alegre, Brazil, Wednesday, June 25, 2014.  (AP Photo/Jon Super)
Argentina's Lionel Messi takes a penalty kick to score his side's second goal during the group F World Cup soccer match against Nigeria at the Estadio Beira-Rio in Porto Alegre, Brazil, Wednesday, June 25, 2014. (AP Photo/Jon Super)
Argentina's Lionel Messi, right, is hugged by Ricardo Alvarez as he is taken out during the group F World Cup soccer match between Nigeria and Argentina at the Estadio Beira-Rio in Porto Alegre, Brazil, Wednesday, June 25, 2014. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)
Argentina's Lionel Messi, right, is hugged by Ricardo Alvarez as he is taken out during the group F World Cup soccer match between Nigeria and Argentina at the Estadio Beira-Rio in Porto Alegre, Brazil, Wednesday, June 25, 2014. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)

Lionel Messi's World Cup double for Argentina in Wednesday's 3-2 victory over Nigeria suggests the four-times World Player of the Year may be ready to take his place among the all-time greats of the game.

The 27-year-old has amassed a glittering haul of trophies with Barcelona, netting 354 goals in 425 official games for the La Liga side and helping them win three Champions League crowns.

The comparison with Maradona, whose brilliance almost single-handedly propelled Argentina to victory in Mexico in 1986, is the one inevitably made most often.

Both men are short in stature, predominantly left-footed and blessed with incredible skills that can unlock the most stubborn defences.

Messi has scored 10 times in his last eight games for his country and on Wednesday became the only Argentine apart from Maradona to score four World Cup goals in a row.