Argentina fans made bold claims about midfield workhorse Rodrigo De Paul after his impressive performance against Australia at the 2022 FIFA World Cup on Saturday, December 3.
La Albiceleste managed a nerve-wracking 2-1 win against the Socceroos in the Round of 16 stage of the tournament. Atletico Madrid's De Paul was a rock solid presence in midfield for his country.
De Paul's tournament didn't start well. A lackluster performance in the first two games against Saudi Arabia and Mexico drew criticism from the fans.
However, with time, he managed to find his feet. Fans saw a rather familiar version of the player during the game against Poland. And against Australia, he really stepped up.
De Paul played the full 90 minutes of the clash. He took 102 touches, an indication of how involved the Atletico Madrid man was in the game. His passing accuracy cannot be overlooked as well. He completed 73 out of his 87 attempted passes.
Defensively, De Paul was sound as well. He won three out of his four ground duels, making one clearance, two interceptions, and two tackles.
Fans heaped praise on the player and asked for critics to be ashamed of themselves for doubting the player.
Here are some of the best reactions across Twitter as De Paul put on a midfield masterclass:
Argentina will need Rodrigo De Paul at his best for the clash against the Netherlands in the FIFA World Cup
Argentina will be back in action on December 9 as they take on Louis van Gaal's Netherlands in the quarter-finals of the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Oranje won their Round of 16 clash against the USA by a comprehensive 3-1 margin.
Australia turned out to be a handful for La Albiceleste. The Netherlands, who topped Group A, can be expected to provide a significantly sterner test.
The likes of Cody Gakpo, Memphis Depay, Denzel Dumfries, and more are menaces for any team.
To win against the mighty Dutch, the South American side will need coordination between attack and defense. That's the role De Paul plays and he will have to be at his best against Van Gaal's team.
De Paul is the team's engine. A player of his tenacity is an asset for any side. Whether the Atletico Madrid man can deliver remains to be seen.