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Argentina teammate: We had to learn not to always to pass to Lionel Messi

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Leandro Paredes admitted they looked for him too often

Ecuador v Argentina - International Friendly Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Argentina’s Leandro Paredes has recognized his country relied on Lionel Messi too much in the past, and has needed to learn when to give him the ball and when to look for another option.

In an interview, the Paris Saint-Germain midfielder said that “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. 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.”

Parades is part of a young crop of players learning to play alongside Messi after Lionel Scaloni took over as coach after the last FIFA World Cup.

“How can it not be easy to play with him? He’s incredible. 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,” Paredes said.