Playing with Messi is like playing with Maradona - Mascherano

The Barcelona utility man has rued missing the chance to play with one Argentine icon, but has praised his luck in being able to take to the field with another
Argentina midfielder Javier Mascherano has lauded the genius of Lionel Messi, comparing the forward's reign to be one similar to that of national idol Diego Maradona.

Messi conjured up two goals on Saturday to overcome Uruguay 3-0, leading Mascherano to shower praise on the diminutive striker for his goal-scoring exploits.

"We are all privileged to relive a moment," exalted the 28-year-old to gathered reporters after the match. "In my case, I grew up in the days of Maradona, but to be next to Messi is a privilege few possess."

Remarking on the nature of the late victory, the versatile player commented: "When we scored, spaces begun appearing, and that's where you can see the reality and potential of this team.

"Defending was very comfortable, and we had the necessary patience and order."

The Albiceleste now travel to Chile to take on Claudio Borghi's men on Tuesday.