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LEAGUES CUP

Gustavo Cabral sets sights on Messi and Inter Miami

The Pachuca central defender played alongside Messi many years ago with Argentina’s Under-20s.

MéxicoUpdate:
The Pachuca central defender played alongside Messi many years ago with Argentina’s Under-20s.
David Martínez PelcastreEFE

Gustavo Cabral has set the bar high for Pachuca in the Leagues Cup. The veteran Argentine centre-back wants to face Lionel Messi in the later stages of the tournament - for that to happen both Inter Miami and the Tuzos have to advance to the quarter finals. Messi and Co. take on Orlando this evening while Pachuca, one of five Liga MX teams left in the competition, will be aiming to get past the Houston Dynamo.

In a chat with Record, Cabral explained why he is so keen to square up against his compatriot, with whom he has already shared a dressing room when both were at the start of their careers. He and Messi were team mates in Argentina’s Under-20 side. “I was lucky enough to face Messi several times - by facing him, I mean that for everything that Messi is. For me, he is the best player in the world - but not when you have to defend him out on the pitch,” the 37-year-old said.

“Just being able to enjoy watching him out on a football pitch would be great for everyone - players, the fans, the coaching staff... hopefully we can meet Inter Miami in the next round,” Cabral added.

Words not enough to describe Miami’s No.10

Gustavo acknowledged Messi’s unrivalled quality and says he’s delighted to have him on this side of the world. “Facing Messi is something that cannot be explained. He is so good when one-on-one and even playing against him at this late stage of his career would be fantastic,” concluded the Argentinian.

But for now, Cabral and Pachuca have other priorities to think about. First, they must beat Héctor Herrera’s Houston Dynamo in the Round of 32.