Nigeria must make sure Tuesday's match against Argentina in St Petersburg is Lionel Messi's last at a World Cup, says full-back Brian Idowu.
Argentina's campaign in Russia is veering close to implosion after Messi missed a penalty in their opening 1-1 draw against Iceland and Croatia made the most of an abject display from Jorge Sampaoli's side to run out 3-0 winners, securing safe passage from Group D.
La Albiceleste can only do likewise by beating Nigeria, who lost to Croatia 2-0 but bounced back in style to see off Iceland by the same scoreline.
Reports of a mutinous atmosphere in the Argentina camp have dominated the build-up but, by contrast, Idowu put the Super Eagles' aim in simple, uncomplicated terms.
"That would be our main goal – to make it his last World Cup game," he told a pre-match news conference when asked about possibly bringing down the curtain on Messi's career on the grandest stage.
"As much as we love to watch Messi play, he is playing against us so we only have one option.
"Of course, I would like to swap shirts with him but there are a lot of players I would like to swap shirts with in the Argentina side."
Nigeria head coach Gernot Rohr rejected the suggestion Idowu's words might have the ill-fated consequence of providing extra motivation to the five-time Ballon d'Or winner.
"No, we don't think about that. We focus on our game," said the German tactician, who expects experienced midfielder John Obi Mikel to be available despite suffering a broken hand.
"We have this great player, Messi. Everybody loves him – me personally and all our team.
"The question for us in not whether it is a last World Cup match for him or not; the question is for us to qualify.
"We are not here to watch him play, we are here to get a result. We are professional and we must defend the colours of Nigeria."
"In football, there is no mercy, there is no pity, you must not give any gifts – even if you like this player.
"He did well against Iceland and was unlucky, very unlucky, with the penalty. I think he is in good fitness and we have to be careful with him."
Argentina and Nigeria are familiar World Cup rivals.
The African nation have been on the losing end in each of their previous four group-stage meetings – the first coming in 1994. Rohr's men won a friendly between the countries in Krasnodar last November, although Messi was absent on that occasion.
This match marks a homecoming for St Petersburg-born Idowu, who has spent his career playing in Russian league football.
"I feel amazing. I saw my parents yesterday and today I met my best friend. I feel the support the people are showing me here," he added.
"I'm excited. Hopefully I'm going to give back to them and the Nigerian fans if I get chance to play tomorrow."
|Djokovic: Sock gave me karma back for hitting Federer|
|Anthony Joshua v Alexander Povetkin: Tale of the tape|
|Wang thrashes Putintseva to win Guangzhou title|
|There is no problem with Cavani - Tuchel silences rumours of PSG rift|
|Wilder & Fury sign contracts for December 1 bout|
|Neymar is the Kim Kardashian of football, claims Barton|
|We did not want to sell him - Perez insists Madrid got ´highest value´ for Ronaldo|
|Osaka continues run, Pliskova awaits in Tokyo final|
|Cardinals keep pace in wildcard race with win over Giants|
|Djokovic hits Federer, pair lose in doubles at Laver Cup|
|Nowitzki likely to come off bench for Mavericks in 21st season|
|Red Wings´ Green battling ´virus that attacked his liver´|
|They said I couldn´t score goals – Ibrahimovic hits back at early critics|
|Slater charged, set to miss Grand Final|
|Rose not changing approach alongside Woods|
|Woods ready to ´hang in there´ at East Lake|
|Shaqiri´s time will come at Liverpool – Klopp|
|Richarlison: I used to copy some of Neymar´s haircuts|
|Brady says Gordon is ´really eager to get in there´ despite limited practice|
|NBA changes clock-reset, ´clear path´ foul rules|
|Tigers´ Martinez will play final game on Saturday before retiring|
|Sanchez to start for Man United – Mourinho|
|Speight saves Ulster in thrilling Cheetahs draw|
|Simmonds at the double as Chiefs stay perfect|
|Woods, Rose share Tour Championship lead|
|Ice-cool Shoaib denies Afghanistan in final over|
|CAF Champions League Review: Wydad Casablanca out as TP Mazembe pay penalty|
|Eden inspires rout as Castleford book Wigan semi-final|
|Thiem & Wawrinka reach St. Petersburg semi-finals|
|No change to Aguero selection despite new contract, warns Guardiola|
|Woods and Rose share Tour Championship lead|
|Wigan Athletic 1 Bristol City 0: Three on the trot for improving Latics|
|Josh Rosen will play ´when time is right,´ Cardinals GM says|
|Eagles RBs Ajayi & Sproles out Sunday v Colts|
|Ronaldo looking forward after Champions League red card - Alex Sandro|
|Rangers fire manager Jeff Banister after four seasons|
|Inter captain Icardi can improve - Spalletti|
|Jadeja and Rohit shine as India maintain 100 per cent record|
|Fisher shares lead in Vilamoura after record-breaking 59|
|Messi the best I´ve seen - Lamela|
|Silva demands end to Gomes ´rumours´ and targets early October return|
|Milner over Pogba, says Souness|
|Brazil call up Malcom, drop Thiago Silva and Willian|
|Denly thought Test chance may never come|
|Benitez tells FA to examine Zaha red card comments|
|Bjorn unsure of future after Ryder Cup|
|Tebas still optimistic over Girona-Barcelona in Miami despite RFEF setback|
|Emery promises more chances for frustrated Leno|
|Cahill considering Chelsea departure in January|
|Kaepernick to receive Harvard´s highest honour in African, African-American studies|
|Defending champion Ostapenko dumped out of Korea Open|
|Mourinho is an inspiration - Nuno|
|Witty Wilson ´delighted´ to be praised for Fisher heroics while sitting on couch|
|Burns, Denly and Stone in England squad for Sri Lanka Tests|
|Aspas reveals interest from Real Madrid, Atletico|
|Arsenal´s Mkhitaryan a doubt for Everton match|
|Klopp demands Liverpool ´stay angry´ against Southampton|
|Long-serving Tabarez signs four-year Uruguay extension|
|Injured Mendy ruled out of Cardiff trip|
|Douglas Costa out up to a month with ankle & thigh injuries|
|Slater shrugs off Feki hit amid Grand Final suspension concerns|
|Crisis? What crisis? Klopp unconcerned by Salah form|
|I didn´t convince him, he decided for himself - Guardiola says thanks to Aguero|
|Leno frustrated by Arsenal bench role|
|Joshua almost 2st heavier than Povetkin for Wembley bout|
|From salvation to the record books - Fisher revels in European Tour´s first 59|
|Lahm says Germany best for Euro 2024 as UEFA publishes report|
|Lopetegui backs Modric over Ronaldo for individual prizes|
|Goretzka to start against former club Schalke, confirms Kovac|
|Fisher shoots first 59 in European Tour history|