'Hope Messi can play in Copa America,' says Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni

WION Web Team
New Delhi, Delhi, India Updated: Jan 25, 2019, 07:39 PM(IST)

Lionel Messi (L), Lionel Scaloni (R). Photograph:( Reuters )

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Messi has not said whether he will return for the Copa America in Brazil in June but the interim coach said at the draw that he was hopeful the inspiring forward might return for a March friendly. 

Argentina head coach Lionel Scaloni is hopeful for Lionel Messi's possible return to international football after the Copa America 2019 group draw at Cidade das Artes in Rio de Janeiro. 

Messi took a sabbatical from the national side after disappointing World Cup and now Argentina are desperate to end a trophy drought that dates back to 1993 when they last won the Copa America. 

Messi has not said whether he will return for the Copa America in Brazil in June but the interim coach said at the draw that he was hopeful the inspiring forward might return for a March friendly. 

"Well, for now, obviously, he hasn't been here. I can't be thinking about something that we don't know how it will go. Like I said in my last interview, hopefully, he could be," Argentina coach Scaloni commented on Messi's return. 

Scaloni added, "I will have a chat with him before giving the final list of players, talk to him. We have good feelings." 

The draw gave Argentina the toughest path of the top-seeded teams as it was placed in a group with Colombia, Paraguay and guest nation Qatar. 

"Uruguay's group (C) is not easy as well. If you take a look, Chile is a tough opponent. I believe you will always look for a 'but' if something happens," said Scaloni. 

"Honestly, it is a complicated competition, to play in South America is complicated and it's not worthy to look behind. May the future bring positive things," he added. 

The top two teams in each group, plus the two best third-place finishers, qualify for the quarterfinals.

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