Paulo Dybala admits it ‘is not easy’ for him to play in the same attack as Lionel Messi as their games are too similar.
The Juventus forward did not feature in Argentina’s scoreless draw at home to Peru on Thursday, leaving the side’s World Cup qualification hopes on the brink.
“It is not easy to play with Messi because we play the same way,” Dybala is quoted as saying by 20 Minutos.
Meanwhile, El Mundo Deportivo quote Coach Jorge Sampaoli’s response to the Juve forward’s comments and playing down any conflict of interests: “I don't see what Dybala said as being bad – he said he was happy to play alongside Messi, but he just did not find his place.
“He said what he felt about playing beside the world’s best player. It’s often difficult to know what position you have in the attack when you are playing alongside someone of Lionel’s intelligence.
“Leo needs to play (with Argentina) in the same manner as he does with the club, to start a position to play a team around him would be wrong.
“Playing 4-2-3-1 allows him to play near the box and do what he does best on the pitch.”
Argentina now must win away to Ecuador in their final match-day for a realistic chance of confirming their spot in next year’s tournament.