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“It’s a gift” – Argentina star who wants to “help” Lionel Messi win the World Cup opens up on playing with the “main man”

Argentina skipper Lionel Messi.
Argentina skipper Lionel Messi.
ANALYST

Argentina midfielder Alejandro 'Papu' Gomez has revealed that it is "a gift" to play alongside compatriot and Albiceleste skipper Lionel Messi.

Speaking to FIFA.com ahead of Argentina's World Cup Qualifier against Uruguay, Gomez was asked what it means to play with Messi. The 33-year-old replied:

"For us, he is number one and the main man. Messi makes us feel like an intimate part of his life. It's a gift, something we enjoy when we're with him. In terms of the football, there are no more adjectives to describe him... Seeing him on a day-to-day basis, on different occasions and in diverse situations is crazy."

Gomez went on to further praise the 34-year-old, calling him a "genius" possessing "special qualities."

"You try to learn from him, but it's very difficult to imitate a genius, as they possess special qualities and come along maybe once every 50 years. When you see him do his thing, sometimes you have to laugh, but what we enjoy most is being close to him – sharing many small things and details."
Copa America champion Lionel Messi posted this on his Instagram, alongside fellow Argentina team mates and Copa America champions Alejandro Papu Gomez and Gio Lo Celso. https://t.co/2htEtHhQDp

The Sevilla midfielder was also asked if Messi ever spoke to the team about his ambitions of winning the FIFA World Cup. Gomez replied:

"He already came very close to winning it, within one game... It's going to be a different World Cup: a November one and maybe his last due to his age. Also Argentina will go into it in good shape and enjoying a nice moment, with the weight lifted from us thanks to the Copa America title."

He went on to add how all of Messi's Argentina teammates are eager to help him lift the World Cup trophy.

"All Argentinians as well as his team-mates want to help him, and we want to give him the opportunity to win the World Cup. He hasn’t asked us for anything, but we know it."

Gomez and Lionel Messi played together for Argentina during their victorious Copa America 2021 campaign over the summer. The former played just two games during the tournament, but chipped in with two goals and an assist.

The duo will now look to guide Argentina to another major trophy at next year's FIFA World Cup in Qatar.


Lionel Messi one of the favorites for the 2021 Ballon d'Or after Copa America success with Argentina

Lionel Messi was in stellar form for Argentina during the 2021 Copa America. Messi featured in all seven matches at the tournament, scoring four goals and providing five assists.

The 34-year-old won the Top Scorer and Player of the Tournament awards on his way to collecting his first major honor with Argentina.

Lionel Messi is content with not winning another Ballon d'Or after lifting the Copa America with Argentina 🏆 https://t.co/6ZObrqUE2h

The Copa America success means Messi is one of the favorites for this year's Ballon d'Or. Messi was also excellent during the 2020-21 club season, registering 38 goals and 14 assists in 47 matches for Barcelona. However, the Argentine could only win the Copa del Rey with the Catalan giants.

Lionel Messi, now at Paris Saint-Germain, will face stiff competition for the Ballon d'Or from Chelsea's Jorginho and Bayern Munich's Robert Lewandowski.


Edited by Sudeshna Banerjee
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