In an interview ahead of Argentina's FIFA World Cup qualification clash with Paraguay, Lionel Scaloni has dismissed rumours of an injury to Lionel Messi and has claimed that the Barcelona captain will be available for selection for his national side this week.
Lionel Messi has been carrying an injury this month and his fitness has remained a concern in the build-up to Argentina's World Cup qualification campaign this month. The Argentina talisman played both matches for his country last month and plays a pivotal role for the side.
Argentina have revamped their squad over the past few months and have a point to prove in the World Cup qualifiers this month. Officil fixtures between CONMEBOL nations are often tense fixtures and Argentina will need all the resources at their disposal in this game.
Lionel Messi has not been at his supernatural best this season but has improved over the past few weeks. The Barcelona star has adopted a more creative role with both club and country and his presence will serve as a massive boost to Lionel Scaloni's Argentina side.
Lionel Scaloni gives Lionel Messi green light to play for Argentina
Lionel Messi has been playing with an injury over the past week and started on the bench for Barcelona against Real Betis. The Argentina superstar came on in the second half and his exemplary performance guided the Catalans to an incredible 5-2 victory.
Argentina manager Lionel Scaloni did admit that Lionel Messi was struggling with some discomfort in his ankle but claimed that the magician would be available against Paraguay this week.
"Lionel Messi trained with us normally. He has been experiencing discomfort in his ankle but it does not prevent him from playing, so for us he is fit and available. We’ll see if anything changes tomorrow, but in principle he’s ready to play."
Argentina have built a strong and well-rounded squad over the past two years and Lionel Scaloni has done an excellent job with a team that has underperformed on several occasions in the recent past. The likes of Lautaro Martinez and Joaquin Correa have made inroads into the first team and have an important role to play in the build-up to the 2022 World Cup.
Lautaro Martinez has carried a fair share of the goalscoring burden for Argentina this year and also remains doubtful going into this game. The Inter Milan striker trained separately from the rest of the Argentina national team this week but might make a substitute experience on Thursday.
Lionel Messi was excellent in Argentina's game against Bolivia and Ecuador last month and remains a crucial cog in Lionel Scaloni's plans. The Barcelona superstar will be looking forward to making a mark in the World Cup qualifiers this month.
With Lionel Messi back into the fold, Argentina could potentially maintain their perfect record in the FIFA World Cup qualifiers so far. Lionel Scaloni will want a favourable result against Paraguay and can bank on his star players in this fixture.
Published 12 Nov 2020, 18:00 IST