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"Extraordinary" - Lionel Messi praises Tottenham star for his recent form and impact 

Lionel Messi praises Tottenham defender Cristian Romero
Lionel Messi praises Tottenham defender Cristian Romero.

Argentina captain Lionel Messi has praised Tottenham Hotspur defender and compatriot Cristian Romero for his performances with the national side.

Romero, 24, has been solid in La Albiceleste's backline since making his debut in 2021. He helped Argentina win the Copa America trophy last year and also made it to the Team of the Tournament.

The centre-back also helped them win La Finalissima against the 2020 Euro winners, Italy, earlier this year.

Argentina are currently on a 35-game unbeaten streak and their defensive solidity has been a big part of it.

In a recent Netflix documentary on their Copa America success titled "Sean Eternos: Campeones de America," Messi praised Romero's impact. He said (via The Spurs Web):

“Cuti’s appearance was extraordinary for us, for the future of the team and for that moment.”

The Tottenham man also revealed how the seven-time Ballod'Or winner helped him settle into the Argentina team upon making his debut:

“During my first ever training with Argentina, Messi was the one who supported me most, he was telling me that I was right that I have to cheer myself.”

Romero was named the Serie A Defender of the Year for the 2020-21 season while with Atalanta, following which he moved to Tottenham Hotspur. He has made 43 appearances for the club in all competitions and has arguably been their best defender since joining.

🇮🇹Antonio Conte 🔛 Cristian Romero:🗣"I can tell you that for him if he has the possibility to play with one leg he will play with the one leg. I would tell the fans that we have players really committed to the club.”👨🏻‍💻[@AlasdairGold]#THFC | #COYShttps://t.co/YWJRojM52L

Tottenham's Cristian Romero could face Lionel Messi's PSG in the UEFA Champions League

Much to everyone's surprise, Paris Saint-Germain finished second in their UEFA Champions League group this season behind Benfica. Meanwhile, Tottenham finished first in their group.

As per the UEFA rules, the group winners are drawn against the second-placed team from other groups in the Round of 16. This means Romero and Messi can clash against each other in this season's Champions League.

Tottenham will get one from PSG, Club Brugge, Borussia Dortmund, Inter Milan, AC Milan and RB Leipzig in the next round.

🇫🇷 PSG's potential last 16 opponents after finishing 2nd in their group:🇮🇹 Napoli🇵🇹 Porto🇩🇪 Bayern Munich🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 Tottenham🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 Chelsea🇪🇸 Real Madrid🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 Manchester City

They will certainly hope to avoid the Parisians due to Messi, Kylian Mbappe and Neymar Jr.'s form this season.

The former Barcelona forward has scored 12 goals and provided 14 assists in 18 games in all competitions so far.

Mbappe, meanwhile, has registered 18 goals and five assists in 18 matches. Neymar isn't too far behind with 14 goals and 11 assists in 18 matches.

The Champions League draw for the Round of 16 will take place on Monday, 7 November.

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Edited by Rajdeep Barman
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