Argentina's coach, Lionel Scaloni, emphasizes that contemplating life without Lionel Messi is premature at this stage. The captain might even make a return to the field in the upcoming World Cup qualifier against Peru on Tuesday.
While Messi declared his intention to retire from football before the 2026 World Cup, he continues to be a vital presence for the Argentina squad, despite his ongoing injury concerns. During the Thursday match against Paraguay, he made a significant impact when he came on in the 53rd minute, creating numerous opportunities to find the back of the net.
"Leo is fine. He trained a little longer, and we will make a decision during the day. Of course, we have to judge how much he can play. If he does well, you know what I mean - he can play," said the coach of the world champions.
"The team plays in a consistent way, whoever is on the field and that's the most important thing. The other day we saw that we can play without Messi," said Scaloni. However, when questioned about Argentina's future once Lionel Messi eventually hangs up his boots, Scaloni responded “Let's keep in mind that he's still here.
Why should we think about what will happen and how it will be when he leaves? The truth is that he is still an active player and let's leave him alone, why are we already sending him to retirement".
Messi is a legend of the Argentine national team, his farewell from the national jersey will sadden not only his compatriots but also the whole world
Argentina made a strong start to their World Cup qualification campaign, securing three consecutive victories in their opening matches.
Lionel Messi's contribution to the Argentina national team has been nothing short of extraordinary. For years, he carried the weight of unfulfilled expectations on his shoulders. However, in 2021, he finally delivered, leading Argentina to victory in the Copa America, their first major international trophy in 28 years.
Messi's playmaking prowess, vision, and goal-scoring ability were instrumental in this historic win. His leadership on and off the field inspired his teammates, creating a cohesive unit. His dedication to the national team exemplifies his commitment to his country.
Messi's legacy in Argentina's football history is firmly established as he transformed his potential into tangible success.