Lionel Messi was full of praise for Liverpool forward Darwin Nunez after his Argentina side came up short against Uruguay in a heated World Cup qualifier on Friday.
Messi is in Liverpool supporters’ good books after singing Nunez’s praises this week.
His Argentina team were outplayed by Nunez’s Uruguay on Friday, with the Reds striker grabbing the second goal in a 2-0 win to hand the world champions their first defeat since losing to Saudi Arabia in Qatar a year ago.
Speaking ahead of his country’s mammoth World Cup qualifier with Brazil on Wednesday, Messi said Uruguay fully deserved to win and commended Nunez for being at the centre of their success.
“Uruguay are good at rebounding and playing in space on counter attack,” the 36-year-old said. “They have excellent players for that like Darwin [Nunez].”
Liverpool supporters on social media reckoned Messi’s comments were proof that their No. 9, who has struggled for form and goals since arriving from Benfica in 2022, will eventually come good.
“Messi backs Nunez! There’s no way he doesn’t become a top level striker with all his talents,” a fan wrote on X.
“Messi knows ball,” wrote another.
A third declared: “No doubt in my mind Nunez will make it at Liverpool. Even Messi knows he’s a great player,” while a fourth beamed: “Nunez gets the Messi seal of approval, and soon, the rest of the world’s!”
Nunez, 24, has scored roughly a goal every three games at Anfield since arriving from Benfica, but his year-and-a-half stint at the club has been underwhelming considering his hefty price tag (£85million).
He’s been in decent form so far this campaign and looks to have shaken off some of his first season jitters, but whether he’ll ever be consistent enough to lead the line for Liverpool long-term is another question.
Though he’s having little difficulty doing so for Uruguay, scoring three goals in five appearances this year.
His country are currently two points behind Argentina, who are top of the CONMEBOL World Cup qualifying table, and they’ll have the chance to leapfrog them with a win over Bolivia on Tuesday should Argentina fail to beat Brazil.