Argentina do not depend on Messi, says Gago

The Boca Juniors midfielder believes his team must take advantage of their captain's unique talents, but claims they do not rely solely upon the Barcelona forward
Argentina midfielder Fernando Gago has rejected the notion that the Albiceleste depend solely upon Lionel Messi, but admits the Barcelona forward can win a game all by himself.

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Argentina beat Bosnia-Herzegovina 2-1 in their opening game thanks to a superb strike from Messi, who also netted a wonderful winner in a 1-0 victory over Iran and later hit two in the 3-2 win over Nigeria.

All three wins have come by a single-goal margin, with Messi the key protagonist and man-of-the-match on each occasion, leading to further talk of a "dependence" on the Barcelona forward.

But Gago told reporters: "You have to enjoy a player like Messi. He can win a match for you all on his own. But I don't know if it's dependence, He's the best in the world and you have to take advantage of that in every sense."

Speaking at a press conference after training in Belo Horizonte on Thursday, the 28-year-old added: "Others create spaces; Messi exploits them."

Argentina face Switzerland in the last 16 of the World Cup next week and Gago believes Ottmar Hitzfeld's side will represent a tough test in a tournament full of surprises.

"We have seen there are no favourites in this World Cup," he said. "Look at Costa Rica, for example... Switzerland are a very difficult rival, a European team with fast players. It will be tough."