Messi needs help – Di Maria

The winger says everyone will benefit if he and his fellow forwards can step up to provide more service and support to their in-form captain

Argentina winger Angel Di Maria says Lionel Messi needs more help from the rest of his team-mates if the Albiceleste are to enjoy a successful World Cup.

Messi has scored the crucial goals against Bosnia-Herzegovina and Iran to give Argentina back-to-back wins in Brazil, but Alejandro Sabella’s side have only netted one other – an own-goal in their opener last weekend – and the rest of the forward department have come under-fire for their disappointing displays.

El Pipa [Gonzalo Higuain] has been a little bit injured and didn’t play the two games before the competition, while Kun [Sergio Aguero] has also had some injury problems,” Di Maria told reporters at Argentina’s training base outside Belo Horizonte on Sunday. “It’s difficult when you have injuries, it affects you, and it affects how you adapt alongside your team-mates.”

“But we will all look to improve,” he added. “It was important to get the six points (from the Bosnia and Iran games) to qualify for the next round. Now we will try to help Messi so that things are a little easier.”

Asked what Messi can do that he can’t, Di Maria joked: “Everything! Leo is Leo and he always appears in the moments when nobody else does.

“He scored a great goal [against Iran]. When he hits it, there is little they can do. We’re happy to have him. Lots of people were criticising him and saying he wasn’t playing well, but he has shown that’s not the case.”

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