Argentine World Cup-winning duo Rodrigo De Paul and Lionel Messi have a brotherly bond that they share off the pitch. De Paul has been notoriously protective of his captain and has recently praised his leadership qualities.
Messi was in doubt about starting the match in the dreaded conditions of Bolivia as he was subbed off early in their last match versus Ecuador. Scaloni just to be safe did not name Messi in the squad and left the 7 time Balon d’Or winner on the bench as he saw his team thrash Bolivia three goals to nil.
Messi had the chance to go back home and celebrate his son Mateo’s birthday who turned eight on September 11 as he was not set to play. Argentina goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez said that he could have gone home but he wanted to accompany them which is something to be proud of.
Rodrigo De Paul on Lionel Messi choosing to travel with the team to Bolivia 💙 pic.twitter.com/XiZ8MdH52H
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) September 13, 2023
Rodrigo De Paul has also spoken in praise of Messi and said that he is an example of love and care for the team as he could have gone away and enjoyed his son’s birthday but yet chose to come to Bolivia. With the win against Bolivia Argentina is currently 2/2 in their World Cup qualifying campaign. Messi is set to play in the upcoming Copa America but his involvement in the next World Cup is still in doubt.
Rodrigo De Paul comments on Argentine soccer captain Lionel Messi
De Paul has always spoken well in the name of his captain Lionel Messi whenever he has been asked about the little magician. He considers himself lucky just to be playing alongside him. Here are some things the Atletico Madrid player has said about the former Barcelona captain.
De Paul while talking to an Argentine outlet has said that he is always around Messi because he loves being around him as he always shows him care and affection.
He added a very special moment that during the World Cup after their defeat at the hands of Saudi Arabia, the team was given a day off to see their families but neither De Paul nor Messi wanted to do so and they instead talked to one another for five to six hours which De Paul labels as one of the most important conversations of his life.
Wherever Messi is (on the pitch), De Paul is there 😉
! Protection 🤔 pic.twitter.com/1Vc0Fi88Sc
— NSHIZIRUNGU⚒️ (@Bonifili) September 9, 2023
The midfielder said that he was set to miss the quarter-final match against the Netherlands with a minor injury but Messi assured him that not to worry as they would be in the semi-finals. De Paul has also previously said that he can go to war if Lionel Messi asks him to.
Rodrigo also talked about how Messi saying it was all just a set-up made many Argentines proud when they were knocked out by Brazil in the Copa America in 2019. He also spoke about how fast his head works and how he sees things on the football field better than anybody.