Pastore: I play to make things easier for Messi and Di Maria

The Argentina midfielder starred in his side's Copa America semi-final rout of Paraguay but says his job is to help get the best out of those around him

Argentina midfielder Javier Pastore says his main role is to help get the best out of Angel Di Maria and Lionel Messi.

The Paris Saint-Germain ace starred in his national side’s 6-1 Copa America semi-final thrashing of Paraguay on Tuesday, netting the second goal and creating the third.

The 26-year-old has become a more permanent fixture in the national team of late and was praised by coach Gerardo Martino following his impressive performance in Concepcion. And Pastore says he is relishing his role as the side’s midfield playmaker.

“I am playing here to make things easier for Leo and for Di Maria,” Pastore told the Copa America website.

“What I like most is setting up goals. When I give a pass that ends up being a goal I enjoy it more than anything else.

“Messi likes all sorts of passes, because whether you give it to him on his chest, his head or his feet, he always controls it well. 

“He likes short passes a lot, so that he can play a one-two. He does that a lot for his club and I have seen it in training here. What he likes best is to have players nearby so he can receive the ball back.”

On Saturday Argentina go up against in-form hosts Chile in the Copa America final, aiming to end a 22-year wait for a major title at senior level.

But Pastore says he won’t endure any sleepless nights ahead of the big kick-off in Santiago.

“I sleep normally, as always. It's something that always happened to me. Even though it's a final, playing football is what I have done my whole life,” he says.

“It would be an immense shame if this generation won nothing… Not having won the World Cup, which was incredible, upset me. 

“Let's hope they can get some kind of revenge and that we can lift this cup. Above and beyond the happiness it will give me and my family, I will be happy for my team-mates.”