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Lionel Scaloni hints one deciding area will determine if Lionel Messi features for Argentina at 2026 World Cup

Adnan Riaz

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| Last updated 

Lionel Scaloni hints one deciding area will determine if Lionel Messi features for Argentina at 2026 World Cup

Argentina manager Lionel Scaloni has outlined the important factor Lionel Messi must focus on if he is to make his squad for the 2026 World Cup.

Scaloni, who succeeded Jorge Sampaoli after Argentina’s disappointing 2018 World Cup campaign in Russia, has enjoyed incredible success with the national team.

The 44-year-old Argentina head coach led his country to the 2021 Copa America title with their victory over Brazil before capturing the World Cup trophy in Qatar.

Messi was in inspiring form for Argentina and lifted the Golden Ball after Scaloni’s men beat 2018 champions France on penalties in a thrilling World Cup final.

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The seven-time Ballon d’Or winner ruled out retirement after La Albiceleste captured their first World Cup star since the 1986 tournament in Mexico.

Scaloni had hinted that there would be a place in his squad for Argentina captain Messi ahead of his country’s title defence at the 2026 World Cup in North America.

Speaking at an event in Italy (as per ESPN Colombia), Scaloni reiterated that the Paris Saint-Germain superstar would be in his squad so long as his body can take it.

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“Being in the next World Cup will be Leo’s decision; if his body can take it for me, he will be there,” he said.

Scaloni added: “Behind our title, there was a communion of intentions between the fans, the staff and the players, something emotional that made sense of belonging for this unique shirt even stronger.

“Then, having a player like Messi was, and is, obviously, an advantage. As a former teammate, training him is beautiful. I see how the other players look at him and follow him. He’s the best.”

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Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Lionel Messi, Argentina, Football World Cup, Football

Adnan Riaz
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