Messi and the rest of the Argentina squad are preparing for their first friendly outing of the year, which forms a key part of their preparations ahead of the resumption of the South American World Cup qualifiers this summer.
The Barcelona star has rarely hit the same heights for his country as he has traditionally done at club level for the reigning European champions, but Hitzfeld nevertheless insists diluting the threat of the three-time world player of the year is his main consideration ahead of the match.
"Messi is big, everybody knows that. It is sensational to be able to compete against him. And it's a big sporting challenge, to keep Messi off the ball," he told Bazonline.ch ahead of the clash in Bern (kick-off 7.30pm GMT).
"At Barcelona he has sensational players like Xavi and Andres Iniesta - the game there is tailored to him, they practise together every day. The automatic functions are logically much better there."
Hitzfeld added: "You can speak of Messi in the same breath as Pele, Diego Maradona and Johan Cruyff.
"He has done great things for a very young player. Messi was named world footballer of the year for the third time in January, which is phenomenal for a 24-year-old."
This week's international round has been slotted between two weekends of regular domestic action, and Hitzfeld admits the lack of preparation time is troublesome.
"Unfortunately, we have not much time to prepare," he said. "In principle, the only training we will have will be on Tuesday."
Argentina boss Alejandro Sabella has revealed that he will continue to experiment with his squad in pursuit of the right blend for the remaining World Cup qualifiers, which will resume in June with his side second in the standings after two wins, a draw and a defeat from four games so far.
Sabella has called up uncapped Napoli defender Hugo Campagnaro and young Roma midfielder Erik Lamela to his squad and the coach is prepared to keep blooding new talent.
"We want to consolidate the group," he told Fox Sports. "Competition is always good for us to see what level we are at.
"It will be useful to test new guys and for them know each other better."
Messi welcomed the decision of his coach to try out new players at this stage in their World Cup preparations.
He told reporters in Bern: "There are players who are capable enough to play for the national team, but it is necessary to give confidence to them.
"That is why the coach is testing them, as he wants the best for the national team."
Meanwhile, Sabella admits he is expecting a tough test against the traditionally sturdy Swiss.
"They are doing a great job. They were the Under-17 world champions and at the last World Cup they beat the champions Spain 1-0," he said. "They are very stable."
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