Football

Leo Messi delighted to be back with Argentina’s squad

Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman was happy to see Leo Messi have minutes in their friendly win against Nastic.

Barcelona captain Lionel Messi is delighted to be back with Argentina’s squad for Copa America.

Messi didn’t hide his joy at being back with the national team for this summer’s World Cup qualifiers and, then, the Copa America.

“I am happy to be here with the lads,” he told the AFA’s website. “It’s a strange, different situation… We spent the time together like normal, but we’re working hard and preparing for the games.

“We try to follow all the recommendations given to us. It was similar for the last qualifiers before Christmas. The situation has got a little worse in the country since then, unfortunately, we’re having a bad time and there’s a high contagion rate.”

On the Copa, which Argentina have not won since 1993, Messi added: “I am really excited, looking forward to doing things well. At the last Copa we did well, but we couldn’t go all the way.

“We want to keep growing. The recent qualifiers were very good. Unfortunately, a long time has passed since then and we haven’t been able to get back together, so it’s about getting back on the same page as quickly as possible and continuing to grow.

“It’s always special to be with the national team. We want to win, that’s the objective. I think we have a united group with a great base that we’ve been working on since Scaloni started. That’s important.”

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