Former Premier League star Leonardo Ulloa has named Alexis Mac Allister as the Argentina player second only to Lionel Messi at the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.
According to the former Brighton & Hove Albion striker, the midfielder ranks directly behind the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner in the Albiceleste ranks in the tournament.
Ulloa told Brighton’s official website:
“For me, Messi was number one, then it was Alexis because he played every game at the same high level. Whether it was passing, keeping the ball, defending or attacking, he did everything very well. He became very, very important for the team.”
“Messi, of course, is wonderful, especially running with the ball in one-v-one situations, but you can count on one hand the times Alexis lost the ball. He always played on the front foot and knew what he had to do for the team. His mentality was perfect.”
Alexis Mac Allister is having a sensational year. The midfielder impressed with Brighton at the start of the club season, scoring five goals in 14 games before joining Lionel Messi and Co. to fire Argentina to a World Cup triumph.
Although his performances at the club level speak volumes, Ulloa insists that what the midfielder did for his nation at the World Cup was on another level. Ulloa said:
“I have watched a number of Brighton games over the past few months and although Alexis was playing well, in the World Cup he was even better. He played much, much better than I thought he would. Amazing! Throughout the tournament, he never played as if the occasion was too big for him or he was under a lot of pressure. Never.”
“He played with passion, but he was always calm, he always wanted the ball, and he linked up well with all his teammates My feeling was that he knew exactly what to do in every situation and that must be so difficult when you are playing for Argentina in a World Cup, especially when you don’t have much experience.”
Like Messi, Mac Allister and the rest of the Argentina squad won’t return to club football action immediately. They have been granted an extended break to celebrate and recover.
Mac Allister hails Lionel Messi as the best player of all time after Argentina’s World Cup triumph
Following Argentina’s success in Qatar, the Brighton midfielder took some time to pay homage to Messi, hailing the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner as the greatest player in history. The midfielder told ITV Sport:
“I think he is the best player in the world, the best player of all time. He is amazing, he is a really nice guy, he is humble so he has everything to be the best player in history. So it is amazing to share a dressing room with him and I’m very grateful.”