Argentina manager names starting XI vs Nicaragua; says Albiceleste can win Copa America if "Messi does what he does every Sunday"
What's the story?
Argentina manager Lionel Scaloni revealed his starting eleven for tomorrow's friendly against Nicaragua, naming Lionel Messi, Manchester City's Sergio Aguero and River Plate striker Matias Suarez as his front three.
The 41-year-old coach also remarked that Argentina can do well in the upcoming Copa America if "Messi does what he does every Sunday", referring to La Pulga's stunning form for Barcelona this season, where he scored an incredible 51 goals across all competitions.
In case you didn't know...
Argentina and Lionel Messi have had disastrous luck in major tournaments, having lost three finals in the past - the 2014 World Cup final to Germany, the 2015 Copa America final and the 2016 Copa America Centenario final both times to Chile.
Argentina last tasted success in the Copa America way back in 1993, with a Diego Simeone and Gabriel Batistuta inspired side lifting the title by defeating Mexico in the final. The Albiceleste have lost 3 out of the last four Copa America finals as well.
The heart of the matter
As per quotes put up in the Albiceleste official twitter handle, manager Lionel Scaloni sounded cautiously optimistic of Argentina's chances at the Copa America, and named his starting XI for tomorrow's friendly against Nicaragua.
"The team tomorrow will go with Franco Armani, Renzo Saravia, Juan Foyth, Nicolas Otamendi, Marcos Acuna; Giovani Lo Celso, Guido Rodríguez, Leandro Paredes; Sergio Agüero, Lionel Messi and Matías Suárez. We were able to work with most of the players for several days, we cannot complain. We watched the last two games of Nicaragua. It is a difficult team. For us it is an important match."
He went on to elaborate that Argentine captain Lionel Messi's performance would be crucial to the Albiceleste progressing through the tournament, remarking that the team stands to gain if the mercurial 'Messiah' is able to replicate the kind of form that he has shown this season.
" If we have a good performance as a team and, in addition, Messi does what he does every Sunday, we will surely do well"
Messi and Argentina are set to face Nicaragua in a preparatory friendly for the Copa America, with kickoff set for tomorrow morning 5:40 AM IST.
The Albiceleste are drawn in Group B of the Copa America 2019, along with Colombia, Paraguay and Asian champions Qatar. They face James Rodriguez and Radamel Falcao led Colombia in Salvador, Brazil for their tournament opener on Sunday, 16th June.