Buenos Aires Times

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Scaloni: Messi will play for Argentina in Copa América

"Leo will be in Copa América. It is evident he will be," says Albiceleste coach.

Tuesday 26 March, 2019
Lionel Messi, pictured during the match between Argentina and Venezuela at Wanda Metropolitano stadium in Madrid on Friday, March 22, 2019.
Lionel Messi, pictured during the match between Argentina and Venezuela at Wanda Metropolitano stadium in Madrid on Friday, March 22, 2019. Foto:AP/Bernat Armangue

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Lionel Messi will play for the Albiceleste in the Copa América in June in Brazil, national team coach Lionel Scaloni said Monday.

Scaloni, speaking in Morocco ahead of Argentina's match later today, said he has not discussed the Copa América with Messi since Argentina was embarrassed by Venezuela 3-1 on Friday. Still, he thought Messi will play in the tournament.

"Leo will be in Copa América. It is evident he will be. He showed maximum will here and we see he is very driven," Scaloni said. "When the match against Venezuela finished, we talked about the match, not about what is to come. We will work to get a better team."

The friendly against Venezuela marked Messi's first match for the Albiceleste since the World Cup.

Messi made no impression against Venezuela in Madrid. He will not play against Morocco on Tuesday because of a groin injury.

Scaloni also said his team cannot be dependent on Messi to win its first title since the 1993 Copa América.

"We have to work for that [the dependence on Messi] not to happen, for every player not to be always drawn to Leo," the Argentina coach said. "He will help us win matches, that's for sure."

The Copa América starts on June 14.

- TIMES/AP

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