Argentina returned to competitive action for the first time last week since securing the World Cup title in Qatar. After friendlies with Indonesia, Curacao, Australia and Panama, they secured a 1-0 win over Ecuador.
Lionel Messi was on hand to continue his exceptional form this season, placing a brilliant free kick into the corner as the game entered its final stages.
Yet the Argentina captain had words of praise for his backline as much as anything else. Speaking to Telemundo after the match (via MD), Messi explained that in his eyes, Tottenham Hotspur defender Cristian Romero was the best around.
“I think he is the best defender in the world right now. He played very well and, in my opinion, he was the man of the match.”
“Having him behind me is the best thing that can happen to me. He always forces me to go forward, because he always wants to play one on one against his opponent. I have gotten used to not looking back and that is very good for an attacking player.”
Romero cemented his place as a starter for Spurs last season, and was part of the bedrock that Lionel Scaloni built his World Cup-winning side on last year. So far he has won 23 caps for the Albiceleste, but at just 25, could go on to become a mainstay for Argentina for many years.