Angel Di Maria Praises Lionel Messi And Calls Him An Alien But Argentina Must Not Rely On Him

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Angel Di Maria has lauded Lionel Messi, calling him the “greatest thing” that has ever happened to him in his career. While admitting that he always like to pass the ball to Messi, Di Maria noted that the timing of the pass is always essential.

Angel Di Maria Praises Lionel Messi And Calls Him An Alien But Argentina Must Not Rely On Him

The World Cup dream of Argentina is on Messi’s shoulders as he and his Argentine team-mates set out to win their first championship since the Diego Maradona-led triumph in 1986. Messi is likely playing in his fifth and final World Cup.

Just days before the 2022 World Cup in Qatar began, Di Maria told La Nacion that Messi is “like an alien,” but that others needed to step up as well.

“For me, being by Leo’s side is everything. He’s the best in the world, an alien, and I won’t get tired of saying it,” he said. “And I’ll say it again: playing with Leo is the best thing that happened to me in my career.

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“We have spent many years together in the national team and I was even able to play in the same team with him, because seeing him every day is much nicer.

“I always try to connect with him, look for him, but also understanding that, although he can solve the play, you don’t always have to give it to him. Or you have to think about when it should be given.”

Di Maria, who has been a member of every Argentina squad since 2010, will be playing in his fourth World Cup, and like Messi, possibly his final.

The Juventus wide man has excelled at the past two tournaments, contributing significantly to the nation’s route to the final in 2014 and momentarily pulling them out of the mud against France with a miraculous goal in Russia four years ago.

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Di Maria defended his record for his nation, citing his 124 caps as evidence for the importance of his work during the previous 12 years.

“It’s not easy to stay in the Argentina team for so many years with the quality of player there is in our country,” he said. 

“I’ve had plenty of criticisms, but I’ve played 124 games for the national team, I don’t think just anyone does that.”

In 35 games, Argentina has not lost, falling two games short of Italy’s all-time record. The European stranglehold over the trophy since 2006, according to Di Maria, will end in Qatar as they travel there with great confidence.

“We could mention Spain and Germany as well [as France], but they are also going through transition periods, with lots of young players and we don’t know exactly what could happen or how they’ll react in a tournament as big as the World Cup,” he said.  

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Angel Di Maria Praises Lionel Messi And Calls Him An Alien But Argentina Must Not Rely On Him

“We can give anyone a fight. We are competitive and we can be in the fight to win it.

“We’re in good form, we’re arriving in good shape, we won the Copa America and the Finalissima against Italy. We will fight in every game, that’s for sure.”

On November 22, Argentina’s World Cup campaign will start when they take on tournament underdog Saudi Arabia. They will then play Mexico on November 26 before finishing their Group C schedule with a match against Poland on November 30.

What Next For Angel Di Maria and Argentina?

The 2022 FIFA World Cup will be Messi’s fifth World Cup appearance and Di Maria’s fourth for Argentina.

The couple has amassed 66 victories over the course of their career, but they still haven’t taken home the major prize, which they will be vying for in Qatar.

Angel Di Maria will undoubtedly be a key component of Lionel Scaloni’s preparations for Qatar, and he will want to assist Argentina in having a successful opening match against Saudi Arabia.

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