Lionel Messi lauds ‘excellent’ Liverpool player as fans say he ‘knows ball’

Lionel Messi is in Liverpool supporters' good books after singing Darwin Nunez's praises this week.

His Argentina team were bested 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]."

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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," one fan wrote on X.

"Messi knows ball," said 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!"

What is Darwin Nunez's ceiling? Let us know in the comments section below.

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.

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Though he's having little trouble doing so for Uruguay, netting 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, providing Argentina fail to beat Brazil.

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