Lionel Messi is the "best in the world" and makes his Argentina team-mates like "lions who fight for him", says Emiliano Martinez, after the Paris Saint-Germain star skippered his side to Finalissima glory in a 3-0 win over Italy on Wednesday.
The veteran forward delivered another supremely assured performance in national colours - arguably one of his best for several years - as the Albiceleste dismantled the Azzurri in front of a sell-out crowd at Wembley.
With the kind of turn that suggests Lionel Scaloni's side could leapfrog to the front of the pack as favourites for the Qatar 2022 World Cup later this year - the biggest jewel missing in Messi's crown - Martinez has explained just why his countrymen will do everything for him.
What has Martinez said about Argentina's commitment to Messi?
"A year ago we were nothing and today we are [World Cup] candidates because we won titles," Martinez was quoted as saying by TUDN.
"We will always be candidates because we have the best in the world (in Lionel Messi).
"We are all lions who fight for him!"
What has Martinez said about the Finalissima?
Victory in the Finalissima - the informal name handed to the CONMEBOL–UEFA Cup of Champions in its first season back for almost three decades - has been viewed by some as a lesser triumph than the Copa America, due to its super cup function.
But Martinez disagrees, and says that Argentina's win has showcased they are ready to compete again after a disappointing Russia 2018 campaign, adding: "It was an international title
"For us it was a final, we take it as officially endorsed by UEFA and it gives us a little more confidence. People said that we had not faced a great European team, they won the Euro and today we show that we are at everyone's level."