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BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA – SEPTEMBER 07: Lionel Messi of Argentina looks on during the FIFA World Cup 2026 Qualifier match between Argentina and Ecuador at Estadio Más Monumental Antonio Vespucio Liberti on September 07, 2023 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. (Photo by Daniel Jayo/Getty Images)

Argentina and Inter Miami star Lionel Messi has revealed who he thinks is the best defender in world football.

The World Cup winner returned to action for the national side on Thursday as he scored the game’s only goal to steer his team past Ecuador in a 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifier.

The seven-time Ballon d’Or winner had some special praise for Tottenham Hotspur defender Christian Romero after his performance on the night.

Read: Neymar surpasses Pele’s all-time record

“For me, [Christian Romero] is the best defender in the world right now. Amazing performance tonight, man of the match.”

Messi’s words were echoed by teammate Rodrigo de Paul, who says they feel comfortable knowing the Spurs defender is playing behind them.

 “Today Cuti Romero is up to being the best central defender in the world.

“Having him behind is the best thing that can happen to me because he always forces me to go forward as he always wants to be one on one against the opponent.

“I got used to going out without looking back and that is a pleasure for a midfielder, because in the end you look at what that you have in front and allows you to get less tired.”

The world champions will be in action on Tuesday when they take Bolivia, who were thrashed 5-1 by Brazil in the early hours of Saturday morning.

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