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Messi ready for post-Riquelme era
Published : 22 Mar 2009 15:00:00
Barcelona forward Lionel Messi admits it will be a strange experience playing for Argentina without Juan Roman Riquelme being involved.The Boca Juniors midfielder announced earlier this month he would not play for the Albicelestes while Diego Maradona is in charge because of their "differing principles".Messi told Clarin newspaper: "At the Beijing Olympics [in 2008] we played together and we linked up together well."Now it'll be strange because every time we've been at the camp he's been there too."I can't say anything on what had happened."Personally, I had problems made up between me and Roman, things that weren't true."The truth is that we're different ages and we both had our own way and our own friends."But everything was fine when we talked and it was the same on the field."Messi is hoping to have the opportunity to form a three-man attack alongside Manchester United striker Carlos Tevez and Atletico Madrid forward Sergio Aguero.He said: "We played together under [Maradona's predecessor Alfio] Basile and won. It's good because of the type of football we can play together."If the three of us are together, we'll be a more attacking team."Off the field we're totally different. I get on very well with Kun [Aguero] because we've known each other for a long time."I get on with Carlos too, but my friendship with Kun is different - we played the Under-20 World Cup [in 2005] together, we lived in the same room, we are almost the same age."Argentina have World Cup qualifiers coming up against Venezuela on March 28 and Bolivia on April 1.