Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni caused a stir a week ago after his team beat Brazil 0-1 in the 2026 World Cup qualifying campaign. The man who led the Albiceleste to the World Cup for the first time in 36 years a year ago claimed that he was mentally tired and sparked a wave of rumors and reports that he had great tensions with the chairman of the Argentine Football Association, Riki Tapia, who made a number of decisions that Scaloni did not like.
However, Scaloni does appear to be thinking ahead and in an interview with Cristian Vieri, a former Italy national team player, he encouraged Leo Messi to keep playing as long as he can do so. "He proved that he has no end. You don't know when he's going to give up football and it's amazing," Scaloni said. Outside of him, I think it's hard to be Leo because he comes out of his house and he's surrounded by a lot of people. On the pitch, where the ball is, he's happiest."
Scaloni confident of Messi playing until 2026 WC https://t.co/sc9Q8V30zX #TopLeagues
— Footbalium (@Footbaliumcom) November 29, 2023
Scaloni added: "Seeing Leo up close is something that's very hard to describe. You must see it. If I told you the things he does in training, you wouldn't believe me. It's crazy." Messi has expressed a desire to continue playing in Argentina, unlike his friend Angel Di Maria, who has announced that he will retire after the 2024 Copa America. "I think he can keep playing but the decision is his," Scaloni said of Messi. "He can play wherever he wants and the team arranges itself around him."
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