Argentina forward Lionel Messi has revealed his growing understanding with Gonzalo Higuain, after the pair combined to inspire a 3-0 victory against Venezuela on Friday.
Messi laid on his international colleague's brace before getting in on the scoring with a penalty, and the 25-year-old acknowledged the potency of their relationship on the pitch.
"Higuain is a great player because he scores a lot of goals," Messi told reporters after the match. "Every time we play, our understanding together increases. Playing together is a great joy shared amongst the members of the Argentina squad. The most important thing is to win, no matter who makes the assists or gets the goals.
"We knew they [Venezuela] would try to hit us on the break, but we had the ball, and scored the first goal. Space opened up for us after that. We were patient."
Higuain shared similar optimism in reviewing his performance with his Albiceleste teammate, adding: "Every time Leo looks forward, he knows I give him an option, as does [Ezequiel] Lavezzi.
"We are happy to give this victory to our supporters who filled the stadium. We've been playing and winning well for several games at home. We now have a big cushion in fourth place [of the South American World Cup qualifiers]."
Alejandro Sabella's men next travel to Le Paz where they face Bolivia on Tuesday, and Messi was left under no illusions as to the scale of the task awaiting his team, after being on the receiving end of a 6-1 drubbing in 2009.
"The games we are playing are getting more and more difficult," the striker concluded. "We know we have to be ready for the atmosphere of Le Paz, and know what happened the last time. Personally, it was a very complicated affair, recovering from defeat.
"Hopefully, it will be different this time."
- Sports & Recreation