Copa America 2016: Lionel Messi a doubt for Argentina's opener against Chile
Argentina have the chance to exact revenge in their very first game in the Copa America when they take on Chile. Having lost to them in last year’s final the team in blue would want to right a few wrongs tomorrow.
But they might have to do it without their talisman, Lionel Messi. The Argentine appeared in court recently during his tax evasion case but has now rejoined the squad for the tournament. Messi suffered an injury during a pre-tournament friendly against Honduras a few days ago.
The injury is said to be in the Lumbar region and the decision to play him will most likely be a last minute one. Gerardo Martino spoke to Chilean newspaper El Mecurio on the fitness of his star.
“We’re hoping [Messi] is available for the game. His presence will be decided last minute, because the lumbar region is very delicate.” said the coach. Argentina have been marked down as one of the favourites to win the tournament.
In the last couple of years, the team have always done well in the tournament reaching the final of the World Cup in 2014 and the finals of the Copa last year. But they seem to slip up at the last hurdle.
Argentina will hope Messi can recover in time as they once again attempt to end their trophy drought. The Barcelona forward had a separate training session along with his teammate Lucas Biglia.
Atletico midfielder Augusto Fernandez said the team will be ready to play and fight in the tournament even without their captain.“When there’s adversity the team needs to step up, and instead of worrying we need to own the adversity. If he doesn’t play, we need to be able to perform the best way possible.”
But Fernandez admitted that the team will sorely miss him if he is unable to recover in time “He’s the best player in the world and we all want him there. The decision will be the best for him and his health, because we need him well. From the way I saw him, I shouldn’t be worried.”