The Barcelona star needs to be well-supported by his international team-mates if they are to find glory in Russia
Argentina goalkeeper Nahuel Guzman told his team-mates they needed to lessen the burden on star Lionel Messi at the World Cup.
Messi, 30, will again lead the South American nation at the showpiece tournament, where they face Iceland, Croatia and Nigeria in Group D.
But the Barcelona forward will be heavily relied upon as he looks for his first senior international trophy.
Guzman, who replaced the injured Sergio Romero in Argentina’s squad, said his team-mates needed to ease the pressure on Messi as much as they could.
“Of course Leo is a very important figure to us. We have to know how to be with him. He has to let us too,” he told a news conference Wednesday.
“And we have to, somehow, take away the responsibility he already has. He feels it too.
“We also have several figures to be a friend to him and make him feel good.”
Guzman added: “I’ll try to be with him at any moment. I will try to lift him up if I see he’s doubtful. And we hope to be able to celebrate, next to him, each game.
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— Selección Argentina (@Argentina) June 13, 2018
“We have to be calm that Leo’s fine.”
Looking for a first World Cup trophy since 1986, Argentina begin their campaign against Iceland Saturday.