Paulo Dybala backs Lionel Messi to overcome poor start for Argentina

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Argentina forward Paulo Dybala has stated that the entire squad is solidly backing Lionel Messi despite his tough start to the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.

Messi endured a tough start to the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, having a penalty saved as Jorge Sampaoli’s men were held to a shock 1-1 draw by Iceland in their opening group D game, where he had 11 shots in the stalemate.

The 30-year-old will lead Argentina out against Croatia on Thursday but Dybala insists that their support for their captain won’t change.

“Obviously we all support him, there is no need to remember that,” he was quoted on Argentine online website TyC Sports.

“Failing a penalty doesn’t mean anything because he is the first one who wants to fix that and revert the situation, and he knows he can count on us now more than ever.

“We are here to help him whenever he needs us, to take advantage from him on each game, and we will keep by his side. This is not going to change.”

Dybala also believes he can play alongside “the best player in the world” Lionel Messi for Argentina.

Before Argentina’s World Cup opener last Saturday, 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 Juventus star feels 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.”

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