Atletico Madrid's young striker Angel Correa says he can't wait to evade defenders along with his Argentina teammate Lionel Messi because "he is the best in the world."
Correa is enjoying his first senior team call-up for Argentina for a pair of friendlies in Texas and admitted he was in awe of the Barcelona star.
"We were playing together during training," Correa told TyC Sports. "I hope I can trick a lot of defenders by passing the ball to Messi because he is the best in the world."
Correa, 20, joined Atletico from Argentine club San Lorenzo for an initial fee of around €6 million last summer but then did not play any club football during the 2014-15 season after undergoing an operation on a serious heart condition.
The Rosario-born player finally made his Atletico debut in the second half of of the club's 1-0 La Liga opening weekend victory over Las Palmas. He looks to be currently ahead of big money summer 2015 arrivals Luciano Vietto and Yannick Ferreira-Carrasco in the thinking of Colchoneros coach Diego Simeone.
Argentina coach Gerardo "Tata" Martino recalled the youngster after injury ruled Paris Saint-Germain playmaker Javier Pastore out of friendlies against Bolivia on Friday in Houston, and against Mexico on Sept. 8 in Arlington, Texas.
"All the effort I put in as a kid is now paying off," Correa said. "It is really beautiful, I am enjoying it as much as possible."
Correa said he had a tough childhood because his father died when he was 10 and then his brother died two years later.
"When you come from a poor barrio it is twice as hard because everyone tells you that you are going to be a drug addict or end up in jail, but I have shown that it doesn't have to be like that," Correa said. "There are poor people who are honest and who succeed."
Correa said Simeone told him to enjoy his time with the national team "as much as possible."
Last week, Martino called Correa "the most important young player in Argentina right now."