Copa America 2024: Head Coach Lionel Scaloni Gave A Big Health Update About Lionel Messi Ahead Of Semi-Final Clash

Ahead of their Copa America semi-final clash against Canada, Argentina has received a major boost as their head coach Lionel Scaloni has provided a big update on captain Lionel Messi’s availability for the game.

Ahead of their Copa America semi-final clash against Canada, Argentina has received a major boost as their head coach Lionel Scaloni has provided a big update on captain Lionel Messi’s availability for the game.

After missing Argentina’s final group stage because of a thigh issue, Lionel Messi had to return to the field during the quarter-final match against Ecuador, which was won by Argentina. Messi played 90 minutes of their quarter-final clash. The game further went to penalties after a 1-1 draw, and Messi made the headlines for missing his spot kick.

Copa America: Head Coach Lionel Scaloni Gave A Big Health Update About Lionel Messi Ahead Of Semi-Final Clash

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Head Coach Lionel Scaloni Gave A Big Health Update About Lionel Messi

Meanwhile, speaking ahead of the much-awaited semi-final clash in a pre-match press conference, as quoted from Goal.com, Scaloni said:

99 per cent of the time, [Messi] is fit to play. It’s never happened to me that he’s not fit to play. Every time he’s come out on the pitch, he’s fit to play. For [Canada], he’s fit to play, without a doubt. It’s a very easy decision for me because it’s a very frank decision: if he’s fine, he plays, and if he’s not fine, he plays the last 30 minutes. It’s that easy.

Copa America: Head Coach Lionel Scaloni Gave A Big Health Update About Lionel Messi Ahead Of Semi-Final Clash

Further, Scaloni went on to acknowledge Messi’s contribution despite him being not completely fit. Scaloni said that he would never make the mistake of not putting him on the pitch knowing the difference that he can create for his team. He added:

When he’s fit, he always plays. There are no doubts. Who would have any doubts? I’m the coach, so I have no doubts. I’m the one who decides, and when I see that he’s fit to play, even if he’s not 100 per cent fit, he’s going to play. I take responsibility for that, but I have no doubts. It’s true that that won’t ever weigh on me. I know what he can give us even if he’s not in optimal condition, and I wouldn’t make the grave mistake of not putting him on the pitch knowing that he gives us a lot, so that’s indisputable.”

The Messi-led Argentina remains unbeaten in the tournament and is now just two games away from defending their title. They are set to face Canada at MetLife Stadium on Tuesday (local time). If Argentina triumphs over Canada in the semi-finals, it will mark their fourth final appearance in five tournaments.

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