Argentina international Lucas Biglia believes his national team is “ordinary” without Lionel Messi, yet he admits the South American giants must learn how to get the best out of the Barcelona superstar without wearing him out.
Messi scored a hat trick in Argentina’s final qualifier, a 3-1 win at Ecuador on October 10, to book their place in the World Cup in Russia.
The Albiceleste went into that game in danger of missing out not only on direct qualification but even a spot in the playoffs.
“We got accustomed to throwing a big weight on Messi’s shoulders, all the responsibility on him,” Biglia, who along with Messi has lost three straight finals with Argentina — including the 2014 World Cup — told Fox Sports Argentina.
“We depend a lot on Messi and that is not good. We need to learn to use him and not wear him out.”
Several Argentina greats, including Diego Maradona and Mario Kempes, believe the Albiceleste rely too much on Messi and warn that must change if the country is to have any success in Russia.
Biglia said it’s a dilemma with no easy solution.
“As much as we learn to play without Messi, we depend on him because he can change the game in a second,” the AC Milan midfielder added.
“The problem is learning not to depend on him and not be too obvious in our play, but this is something very difficult when you have a player of his magnitude.
“We always want to give him the ball and for him to sort things out. If we learn to use Lionel well, with him we are going to be strong, we can be candidates [for the World Cup]. Without him, we are an ordinary national team.”