Argentine veteran Juan Riquelme has hailed his compatriot Lionel Messi for the role he played in helping the Albieceleste win the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.
The South American giants secured their third world title in Qatar after beating France on penalties in the final. It was an outstanding performance from Argentina, bouncing back from a defeat in their opening group game against Saudi Arabia.
A number of Albieceleste players put in impressive displays throughout the tournament to ensure that they ended their 36-year wait for a World Cup triumph.
One of them was PSG superstar Messi, who captained Argentina to victory. The 35-year-old forward was arguably the best player at the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.
He scored a total of seven goals and provided three assists throughout the tournament. He also won the prestigious Golden Ball award for his performances, becoming the only player in the history of the tournament to win it twice. He was also named the best player in the 2014 edition, when Argentina lost to Germany in the final.
Speaking about Argentina's herioics in Qatar, Riquelme has gone on to appreciate all the players who gave their all for the national team.
"I thank the players for the joy they gave us to all Argentines," he told PSG Talk.
The former Barcelona player added that he was happy that his compatriot Messi finally got the chance to win the FIFA World Cup. Riquelme said:
“For those who like soccer, it was beautiful to see Messi lift the Cup. Not only did we want that. I think there have been very few times in history where everyone has agreed that he deserves to win it. I am very happy that he has achieved it.”
Riquelme concluded his interview by saying that the Albieceleste will always be favorites to win any game or tournament as long as their captain plays.
“I always said that as long as Messi plays, Argentina will always be the favorite. He likes to compete; he plays ball like in the neighborhood. When he plays, nothing hurts. It’s wonderful," he said.
Sergio Aguero responds to Zlatan Ibrahimovic's comment about Messi and Argentina
Former Manchester City and Barcelona striker Sergio Aguero has hit back at Zlatan Ibrahimovic for his comments on Lionel Messi and the Argentina squad's behavior at the World Cup.
The Swedish veteran said the Albieceleste stars were "behaving badly" after winning their third world title in Qatar.
Aguero, who was part of the entourage that celebrated the victory, stated that Ibrahimovic also exhibited similar behavior during his time at Manchester United.
In his words, as seen in the Mirror, the striker said:
"Let's remember that you also behaved badly, right? I remember that we played against United. I was on the bench. You were provoking, you were talking back."