‘Enjoy Messi now, don’t think about the future’

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BUENOS AIRES (AP) — Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni is not losing heart because Lionel Messi questioned whether he would continue with the national team after the next World Cup.



Lionel Messi (center) celebrates with his Argentina teammates during a World Cup qualifying match against Venezuela, Friday, March 25, 2022, in Buenos Aires (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)


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Lionel Messi (center) celebrates with his Argentina teammates during a World Cup qualifying match against Venezuela, Friday, March 25, 2022, in Buenos Aires (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)

For Scaloni, the winner of seven Ballon d’Ors must be enjoyed now and not obsessed with the future.

“Messi will have to sit down and think, as he has always done. After playing a World Cup, evaluations are made. In any case, you have to enjoy it,” Scaloni said at a press conference on Sunday.

After the 3-0 victory against Venezuela on Friday, the albiceleste captain said that “I’m going to have to rethink many things, whether it goes well or badly”, after the World Cup in Qatar that will be played at the end of the year.

That match at the La Bombonera stadium for the penultimate date of the South American qualifying round could have been the last official of the “Flea” with the albiceleste jacket in his country.

He was not the only one who hinted at an end point with the selection.

Video: Although it was expected to be “very violent”, this is how it was experienced on March 8, 2022 (Dailymotion)

The attacker Ángel Di María, Messi’s teammate at Paris Saint-Germain, published a message on his social networks in which he said that he had surely played his last game with the national team. Di María turned 34 last February.

Classified for several dates, Argentina will close the away tie against Ecuador next Tuesday. It is unlikely that he will play again at home before the World Cup as the plan is to play friendlies in Europe.

Messi will arrive in Qatar, his fifth World Cup, at the age of 35.

“I don’t know, I really don’t know. I think about what is coming, which is close, which is Ecuador, the preparation matches in June and September”, said Messi Messi, author of seven goals for Argentina in these qualifiers. “Hopefully it will work out for the best. But surely after the World Cup many things will change”.

Referring to the situations of Messi and Di María after Qatar 2022, Scaloni pondered that “logically there is an age for everything and time goes by. They have to be available and they are aware of that and I hope that Di María has said it for this match and that it is not really the last”.

In the victory against Venezuela, Di María signed the second goal with an exquisite left-footed touch and then assisted Messi for the final 3-0.

“Those who see them have the luxury of still being able to enjoy them. You have to stay with that, not think about the future or what will happen later, “added Scaloni. “You don’t have to think about the future with the phenomenal present they have and you have to enjoy them. You don’t have to stop to think about what’s going to happen after the World Cup. There’s still so much to go”.

Argentina completed one last training session in Buenos Aires on Sunday before traveling to Guayaquil to face Ecuador, a team that on Thursday secured its qualification for the World Cup.