Tottenham coach responds to Messi’s “best in the world” praise of Spurs star

Tottenham manager Ange Postecoglou and Lionel Messi are in agreement over Cristian Romero, with the Spurs star being labeled “the best defender in the world” by his World Cup-winning Argentine teammate and captain. Romero has had a mixed start to life at Spurs after joining the North London Club for $53.6 million in August 2022.

The 25-year-old has played 68 times for Spurs, including seven in the Champions League last season. However, the defender has earned a reputation as an uncompromising and physical player having been sent off three times. The 2023/24 campaign, though, is mirroring the form he has shown while playing in his country’s colors.

In four Premier League games, Romero has two goals under new manager Postecoglou, leaving Tottenham second in the early Premier League table and behind only defending champions Manchester City. Romero, a Copa America and World Cup winner was  branded “the best defender in the world” by Argentina captain and teammate, Messi, after the 1-0 win over Ecuador last week.

“For me, he is the best defender in the world right now,” Inter Miami star Messi, 36, said. “Amazing performance tonight, man of the match.”

And Spurs manager Postecoglou is in agreement with the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner on his assessment of the defender. “I wouldn’t argue with Messi,” Postecoglou told British radio station talkSPORT. “I’ll tell you what, I wouldn’t like to play against him [Romero].

“Most of the boys don’t like to train against him. He’s a real competitor and I love that about him. Whether it’s training or a game, what you see is what you get with Romero.”

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Messi won’t have to play against his compatriot anytime soon, with the legendary attacker now playing in the MLS for Inter Miami. He joined on a free transfer in the summer after his contract expired at Paris Saint-Germain. Had Messi stayed in Europe, the chances of playing Romero this season would have been zero anyway, as Spurs failed to qualify for any of Uefa’s three European Club competitions.

Messi appears happier in Miami and is back playing with a smile. His results on the pitch prove this, with the attacker scoring 11 and assisting five in 11 games for Miami. He also helped the MLS franchise win its first trophy with Leagues Cup glory. Inter Miami will have another shot at silverware later this month when they play Houston Dynamo in the US Open Cup Final. 

Miami are also hoping to stage a late comeback to make the MLS playoffs, they remain unbeaten since’s Messi’s arrival and are back in action on Saturday when they face Atlanta United.

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