• Angel Di Maria has been playing for Argentina since 2008
  • Argentina lost World Cup final in 2014 to Germany
  • World Cup 2022 will begin Sunday in Qatar

Angel di Maria has heaped praise on his Argentina teammate Lionel Messi, saying "playing with Leo is the best thing that happened to me."

Messi and Di Maria have been teammates in Argentina's national side since 2008 when the latter made his international debut. Last season, they became teammates at the club as well after Messi moved from FC Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) on a free transfer. However, Di Maria parted ways with the Ligue 1 champions this summer and joined Juventus.

The two South American playmakers are currently with their national team in Qatar ahead of the FIFA World Cup.

"For me, being by Leo's side is everything. He's the best in the world, an alien, and I won't get tired of saying it. And I'll say it again: playing with Leo is the best thing that happened to me in my career," Di Maria said in a recent interview.

The former Real Madrid winger went on to add that watching Messi "every day is much nicer."

"We have spent many years together in the national team and I was even able to play in the same team with him because seeing him every day is much nicer. I always try to connect with him, and look for him, but also understand that, although he can solve the play, you don't always have to give it to him. Or you have to think about when it should be given," added Di Maria, who has 123 Argentina caps.

Di Maria was with Messi when Argentina lost back-to-back Copa America finals in 2015 and 2016 before they finally clinched the trophy last year.

Two-time world champions Argentina last reached the final of a World Cup in 2014. They suffered a 1-0 defeat to Germany at the time.

Lionel Messi starred as Argentina finally ended a 28-year wait for a major trophy at last year's Copa America
Lionel Messi-led Argentina won Copa America in 2021 AFP

Argentina is one of the favorites to win the tournament as they are now unbeaten in 35 games, a streak that started back in 2019. Messi and Co. are in Group C in the upcoming tournament, along with Saudi Arabia, Mexico and Poland.

Meanwhile, Messi played a prank on fans by faking an injury during Argentina's public training earlier this week.

World Cup will begin Sunday in Qatar. Argentina's opening game is against Saudi Arabia on Nov. 24.