Lionel Messi eager to star at his last World Cup as Scaloni warns football ‘is sometimes unfair’


Lionel Messi is in the right frame of mind, but Argentina boss Lionel Scaloni knows from recent experience how difficult a World Cup can be.

Lionel Scaloni says Lionel Messi is determined to enjoy his last World Cup and will give everything to end Argentina’s 36-years wait to lift the trophy.

Argentina were last world champions when Diego Maradona inspired a triumph in Mexico in 1986, and have since lost in the 1990 and 2014 finals.

Scaloni said no one could promise the team would be successful in Qatar and said football was “sometimes unfair”.

Still, he feels a gratifying desire to please the 35-year-old Messi, who is just one World Cup away from his career, having won a host of trophies with Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain as well as seven Ballon d’Ors. valuation.

Argentina’s Copa America success last year earned Messi a major international trophy, but the World Cup is what he wants more.

“I see him as always, very well and eager to enjoy the World Cup,” Scaloni said in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday.

“He knows what it means to wear this shirt at the World Cup and he and his team-mates are really enjoying the use of the training facilities and our stay here. I think the process is important.”

Messi, who won the 2014 Ballon d’Or as the tournament’s best player, recently praised Scaloni for his leadership and man-management and the respect is mutual.

“I think it reflects the good relationship we have and the kind of coach I am,” Scaloni said.

Argentina held a pre-tournament training camp in Madrid, preparing for their opening Group C match against Saudi Arabia on November 22.

Firstly, they have a friendly against the United Arab Emirates on Wednesday, where Scaloni is keen to keep his mind focused.

“A coach has to be an example to the group. I learned that what you do on and off the field is important to the group,” Scaloni said.

At the last World Cup in Russia, Argentina only scraped through the group stage before losing 4-3 to eventual winners France in the second round.

Jorge Sampaoli left as coach after the tournament and Scaloni’s assistant subsequently took up the top job.

Scaloni’s side have not lost since a 2-0 defeat by Brazil in the 2019 Copa America final, following a 35-game unbeaten run.

But the 44-year-old coach knows there are potential pitfalls for even the best teams, saying: “That’s football, it’s unpredictable and sometimes unfair.

“There is no point in promising people anything. Tell them we will give everything during this World Cup.”

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