Nigeria coach Gernot Rohr vows his team will show “no mercy for Messi” as they prepare for their final group match at the Krestovsky Stadium.
Argentina must win the tie to get into the knockout stages while a draw would be enough for the African side if Iceland fail to overcome Croatia in the other group match.
“We love this great player, Messi, everybody loves him,” said Rohr on Monday.
“The question is not if it is the last World Cup for him or not, the question is for us to be qualified.
“We are not here to watch him playing. We are here to make a result, we are professionals. We are here to defend the colors of Nigeria and we know in football there is no mercy, no pity, everybody wants to win and we cannot make any gifts even if we like very much this player.”
Messi had been instrumental for Argentina during the qualifying stage, scoring a hat-trick in the final day to ensure qualification for the World Cup finals.
But the Barcelona ace has been a distant shadow of himself in the tournament so far, failing to register a single goal or assist yet.