Paulo Dybala believes he can play alongside “the best player in the world” Lionel Messi for Argentina.
Before his team’s World Cup campaign started, coach Jorge Sampaoli said the duo were not yet ready to play together, and Dybala was left on the bench as Argentina were held 1-1 by Iceland in their opener on Saturday.
But Dybala feels he is ready to be used in association with Messi, saying they needed to find a way to work together.
“Messi does not have any substitute here, in Barcelona or anywhere in the world. So obviously I think we could work together,” he told a news conference on Tuesday.
“We need to figure out how I would fit on the team because, as you said, I used to play in the same position he plays and lately I have been used to playing in that position.
“But obviously I think we must work together.”
Messi endured a tough opening game in Russia, including seeing a second-half penalty saved in the shock Group D draw.
But Dybala said his team needed to make the most of having Messi, who is regularly outnumbered on the field, leaving space for others to work in.
“We are aware we have the best player in the world by our side, and we must take advantage from him and try to get some action too, taking advantage from each space he leaves, every rival player marking him,” the Juventus star said.
“We must take advantage from those spaces, those moments so we can attack in a better way.”
Argentina continue their World Cup campaign with a clash against Croatia on Thursday.