Sun, 05 Feb 2023

DOHA, Dec. 2 (Xinhua) -- With Argentina set to face Australia in the FIFA World Cup round of 16 on Saturday, midfielder Rodrigo De Paul believes Australia are an opponent "similar to Poland".

"We've watched many videos to see how Australia play, it would be a similar game compared to Poland," De Paul said ahead of the game. "Australia have fast players on the wings, but we will have the ball."

"Coverage will be very important, so it will be difficult for the midfielders and defenders, but the forwards will be free to move around as a result."

With just a bit more than two days in between the last group game and the first knockout game, De Paul said it was "somewhat unusual, but we are used to playing very often and are now focusing on recovering and resting enough."

The midfielder admitted that losing to Saudi Arabia in the opening game was "a huge blow" but was "indeed good for us".

"We found ourselves in a situation that we are not used to, it has been quite a long while since we last lost," De Paul said. "But it was also a moment for us to rise and bounce back."

De Paul also discussed how the responsibility of representing the national team is weighing heavily on his mind.

"At the beginning it was difficult for me to enjoy it because of the blow we had against Saudi Arabia. But I started to enjoy a little bit with Poland and yesterday was just the first day that I was able to really enjoy myself," De Paul added. "I watched the games, drank mate with my teammates, saw my family and life is about these small moments."

"The responsibility and excitement is so great that it does not allow me to fully enjoy myself."

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