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Copa America 2019: 'We’ve come to compete, not to take photos with Messi', says Qatar manager ahead of crucial Argentina clash

Yash Sharma
23 Jun 2019, 15:14 IST

Lionel Messi and co. will take on Qatar in their final group stage fixture
Lionel Messi and co. will take on Qatar in their final group stage fixture

What's the story?

Ahead of their crucial match against Argentina in the Copa America, Qatar manager, Felix Sanchez Bas insisted that his side is determined to reach the next round while claiming that they're not in Brazil to click selfies with the Argentine talisman, Lionel Messi.

In case you didn't know..

La Albiceleste defeated Nicaragua 5-1 in a friendly match before starting their journey in the Copa America 2019. Following the thumping defeat against Lionel Scaloni's men, Nicaragua players urged the Barcelona icon who scored a brace on the night to snap a selfie with them.

Following a comfortable win against Nicaragua, Argentina went on to witness a rather dramatic start to their Copa America campaign as they were defeated 2-0 by continental rivals Colombia, who registered their first win over La Albiceleste since 2007.

Following the defeat against Colombia, Scaloni's men salvaged a point in a 1-1 draw against Paraguay, courtesy a Lionel Messi penalty and Franco Armani's heroics, who saved a penalty in the second half.

Colombia have booked their place in the Quarter Finals. As things stand, the winner between Qatar and Argentina will progress to the next round if Colombia defeats or draw against second-placed Paraguay.

Also see : Womens World Cup Bracket, Gold Cup Standings, Copa America Standings.

The heart of the matter

Speaking ahead of Qatar's crucial clash against the runner ups of the last two editions, Sanchez said:

“It’s true we are not very well known in South America but we have super-professional players and we’ve come to compete, not to take photos with Messi,”
“They’re the favourites and are obliged to win. We’ll try to compete against a great team who have the best player in the world. We have a chance to qualify and that’s what’s exciting, not the fact we could knock out a monster like Argentina.”

Speaking about his tactics to stop Lionel Messi, he said:

“He can be decisive in any game due to his quality, hundreds of coaches have spent ages trying to stop him but there’s no magic formula, it all depends on Leo’s feet,”
“However much you focus on it it’s very difficult to stop him, but we’ll try to prevent him from getting involved in the play in the final third of the pitch.”

What's next?

Lionel Messi and co. will take on Qatar in their final group stage fixture in their bid to secure a quarter-final spot against Brazil.

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