The FIFA World Cup is three months away, and the Argentina national team is one of the squads facing plenty of pressure, considering the tournament is likely the last one for Lionel Messi.
After crashing out in the Round of 16 in 2018, the Argentine Football Association decided to start a new cycle with a new manager, appointing Lionel Scaloni. Marca relayed the remarks by Scaloni, who recounted telling Messi he’d take over and the 35-year-old’s reaction.
“After Russia, we called him with Pablo (Aimar) from Valencia to tell him that we were going to take over temporarily,” Scaloni said. “He was the captain of the National Team with Masche (Javier Mascherano). It was time for him to find out from our mouth.”
Following the 2018 World Cup, Messi took a break from the national team and decided not to be part of any call until the new coach was confirmed.
Also, Scaloni stated how the conversation went regarding telling the Paris Saint-Germain forward that he and his coaching staff would be officially taking over the Argentina national team job. The Argentine gaffer stated that they wanted to have Messi as part of the process leading to the 2022 World Cup.
“When we stayed permanently, he decided to come back, that he was available and that if we called him, he would come,” Scaloni said.
“It was all very natural. He shows love for playing with the National Team in the same way that they see him on the field. All that desire to win for him is for everything he shows.”