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'We Had To Learn To Not Always Pass To Messi'

With both Argentina and FC Barcelona having been accused of being overly reliant on superstar Lionel Messi in the past, one of his teammates has now admitted his side actively tried to not always pass to the six-time Ballon d'Or winner.

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Despite his ability on the ball, the 32-year-old has probably been depended on more than he would like for both club and country in recent years.

Argentina midfielder Leandro Paredes, who plays his club football with Paris Saint-Germain, has revealed that this issue within the squad was recognised by the players and coaching staff, and believes they have got better at not always looking to him as a result.

"The main thing was for us to decide and understand that Leo is not always the first or best option when you're looking to pass the ball," he told Sport.

"We have to give him the ball when he can take advantage.

"That was something that we used to not do, and we have improved since."

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Paredes went on to praise Messi for having the skill to get out of seemingly impossible situations.

"How can it not be easy to play with him? He's incredible," he continued.

"In my head, when he has the ball and you see two, three, or four get near him, you say, 'Well, it's time to get ready, because he might lose the ball.'

"You start running backwards, and all of a sudden, he squeezes out in between those four and continues with the ball. It's incredible."

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Messi has scored two goals in his past two matches for Argentina, with the first coming in a 1-0 friendly win over Brazil and the second in a 2-2 draw with Uruguay.

Why do you think players always want to pass the ball to Messi? Let us know in the comments section below.

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