Jorge D’Alessandro believes Lionel Messi and Argentina would not have won the 2022 FIFA World Cup if it was not for Enzo Fernandez, Alexis Mac Allister and Julian Alvarez.

Lionel Messi put an end to Argentina’s 36-year wait to win the FIFA World Cup by leading them to glory in Qatar last month. He helped La Albiceleste beat reigning champions France on penalties to lift the trophy.

The Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) superstar did most of the heavy lifting for the South American giants. He scored seven goals and provided three assists in seven matches for the team on their road to glory.

Former Argentinean goalkeeper D’Alessandro disagrees with the notion that Messi was the orchestrator of the nation’s World Cup triumph. He is of the view that the fans have lost sight of the real reasons behind it. He told Infobae:

“Nobody hit the key. Everyone points to Leo Messi as the great standard, the factotum and they forget why the victory took place. This is the same Messi from 2014 and the previous World Cups.”

D’Alessandro feels Fernandez, Mac Allister and Alvarez were integral to Argentina’s victory in Qatar. Asked if Messi and Co. would have won the World Cup without the trio, the former Atletico Madrid manager said:

“No. Impossible. He [Lionel Messi] would have been crying on the streets now. I sign it. The key was these guys [Fernandez and Mac Allister], and Julian [Alvarez].”

How did Lionel Messi’s Argentina teammates Fernandez, Mac Allister and Alvarez fare at the World Cup?

After being limited to substitute appearances in Argentina’s first two matches, Fernandez started in each of their following five games at the World Cup. He found the back of the net once and also provided an assist in the process.

Mac Allister, who plies his trade for Brighton & Hove Albion, was an unused substitute in the team’s shock defeat to Saudi Arabia in their opener. However, he went on to start each of their following six matches, contributing towards two goals in the process.

Like Fernandez, Alvarez was restricted to substitute appearances in La Albiceleste‘s first two games. He went on to earn a regular spot in Lionel Scaloni’s starting line-up and marked it with four goals and an assist.

It is worth noting that none of the three players were starters for Argentina at the start of the tournament. However, they earned their place in the first XI and went on to play a key role on their road to glory.