“He entered the World Cup as if he had played 350 games”

Emiliano Martínez has hailed Chelsea star Enzo Fernández for the maturity he showed for Argentina at the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

The 21-year-old played in all seven of his side’s matches in Qatar and scored a vital goal in the 2-0 group stage win against Mexico. He entered the main event after representing his national team just three times at senior level.

However, Fernández looked comfortable in the center of the park and was a calming presence in his team’s midfield. He made a switch at both ends of the pitch during the 2022 FIFA World Cup and finished the tournament with the ‘Best Young Player’ award.

In an interview with TyC Sports, Martínez congratulated Fernández, saying (h/t @AlbicelesteTalk):

“Enzo is the face [a man who doesn’t have a nerve]. He played a friendly and entered the World Cup as if he had played 350 games.”

Dibu Martínez: “Enzo is a face [a man who doesn’t have a nerve]. He played a friendly and entered the World Cup as if he had played 350 games.” @TyCSports 🗣️🇦🇷 https://t.co/HGHelIuTnV

Fernández joined SL Benfica from River Plate last summer and made a huge impression in the Primeira Liga. He recorded one goal and five assists in 17 league games for the Eagles, which certainly left an impression on Argentina manager Lionel Scaloni.

However, it was his displays in Qatar that really grabbed the headlines and pushed Chelsea to pay a British record fee of £105m to sign him in January. He has had a varied start to life in West London under manager Graham Potter.

He has made five competitive appearances for his new club but is yet to taste victory in Chelsea colours.

What Lionel Messi had to say about Chelsea star Enzo Fernandez at the 2022 FIFA World Cup

Argentina’s Enzo Fernández earned praise for his performance at the 2022 FIFA World Cup from fans and opponents alike.

However, none of them would probably have compared to being praised by Lionel Messi. The Argentine icon is widely considered by many to be the best player in the history of the sport.

He was in brilliant form at the 2022 FIFA World Cup, scoring seven goals in as many games and winning the Ballon d’Or. But none of this would have been possible if Argentina had lost against Mexico.

They lost 2-1 to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in their first group stage match and risked elimination if they lost against Mexico. Messi scored the first goal of the game in the 64th minute before Fernández sealed the score 2-0 three minutes from time.

Speaking after the game, an elated Messi praised the current Chelsea midfielder, saying (h/t GOL):

“I know Enzo very well, here from the national team and I also played against him in the Champions League. He deserves it, because he is a spectacular boy and a very important player for us.”

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