Argentina midfielder Leandro Paredes has taken a pop at his PSG teammate Kylian Mbappe for his recent comments over South American football.
No non-European nation has won the FIFA World Cup since Brazil’s triumph in 2002 and when Mbappe was asked about his thoughts on the issue, the French superstar told TNT Sports Brasil (as per The Mirror):
“Argentina haven’t played games of great quality to reach the World Cup. In South America football isn’t as advanced as Europe. That’s why if you look at the last World Cups it’s always the Europeans that win.”
The 23-year-old has been widely slammed for his comments, with PSG teammate Leandro Paredes the latest figure to take issue with the controversial statement.
The midfielder is unable to be part of the current Argentina squad due to injury, but he told Radio La Red (as per Roy Nemer):
“Mbappe and these types of players will never know what it is like to play at altitude, in the heat of Colombia and in those places.”
Mbappe’s France are the current world champions after they beat Croatia in the 2018 final 4-2, with the forward netting in that clash to become the youngest goalscorer in a World Cup final since Pele in 1958.
Paredes claims he would be happier for Lionel Messi than himself if Argentina win the World Cup
The South American giants are aiming to win international football’s biggest prize later this year in Qatar for the first time since Diego Maradona led his side to victory in 1986.
The Qatar tournament will be Messi’s fifth and almost certainly final World Cup and Paredes has claimed that he is determined to lift the trophy in December to gift the iconic forward the one honour that has elluded him throughout his career.
Speaking to Radio La Red (via Mundo Albiceleste), the 27-year-old midfielder claimed:
“If we win the World Cup, I would be happier for Messi than I would be for myself. Hopefully it will not be Messi’s last World Cup. It’s difficult to go through four more years to play a World Cup. Let him play as a number five and I’ll move back, haha. Everyone has a chance to be world champions. We are going to try.”
The Argentine duo endured a mixed season during Messi’s first season at PSG, as they comfortably won Ligue 1, but fell well short in the Champions League.
Argentina last won the FIFA World Cup in 1986.