Argentina Boss Describes Immense Pressure Lionel Messi Is Under


La Albiceleste defeated Italy, who failed to qualify for the finals in Russian Federation, 2-0 in Manchester on Friday, although they were without key player Lionel Messi due to a minor injury.

"I think it's a handsome fixture against Argentina, in an wonderful stadium, and against the runners-up of the World Cup, and where one of the best players in the history of football will be playing", he said. Leo has to play like he does for his club, to put him into another structure is madness.

Messi will face a Spain that includes his Barcelona teammates Andres Iniesta, Gerard Pique, and Jordi Alba at Atletico Madrid's Wanda Metropolitano Stadium. The eve of the match against Italy he indicated that he was not in a state to play. "I don't think there will be a problem tomorrow (Tuesday)". "A competitive animal, which makes him very Argentine". "An important generation is passing and a lot of players are going to change".

"We are in a place where Leo is untouchable", added Sampaoli, before suggesting his team would be built around the advice he picked up from Messi.

Sampaoli has outlined Messi's importance to Argentina - who are without knee-injury-victim Sergio Aguero - by revealing the side will be set up to get the best out of him.

On the global stage, though, Messi has not been as successful, losing three Copa America finals, as well as a World Cup final.

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But for your country it's that bit more special, it's in your heart and your blood and you want to make the whole country proud. The PSG striker hit the winning goal just minutes after half-time as Uruguay had enough to see off a determined Wales side.

"You can't teach him anything".

"We always want to play against the best players; so if Messi plays, then even better".

"It's hard to assume a level of control when your leader knows he's better than you, he executes things like nobody else".

"When we're preparing for a game we're not thinking about what's in front of us", Lopetegui said.

But it is Valencia striker Rodrigo who has momentum, on the back of two consecutive starts and a sharp finish in the 1-1 draw against Germany on Friday.

The last meeting between the countries came in a 2010 friendly in Buenos Aires where Messi scored in a 4-1 Argentina victory.