Lionel Scaloni lauded Argentina superstar Lionel Messi ahead of his international return. Messi is expected to start this evening's game against Venezuela.
Argentina head coach Lionel Scaloni said there are no more words to describe Leo Messi as he prepares to make his international comeback. Messi has not played for Argentina since their last-16 elimination at the 2018 World Cup, however, the five-time Ballon d'Or winner will end his nine-month absence against Venezuela on Friday night.
The 31-year-old superstar has enjoyed another stellar season for Barcelona, so much so that his 33rd LaLiga hat-trick against Celta de Vigo last week earned a standing ovation from the opposition supporters. And Scaloni lauded Messi as Argentina look to step up their preparations ahead of the Copa América, which gets underway in June.
"I said this before. Even he must be tired of this. There are no more adjectives to describe him," Scaloni told reporters. "We only want all of his team-mates to know that they are great players too and it's also for them to make a step forward, not just Messi. The rest must make that step forward. They are great players too and we are a great team if we all play our part."
Scaloni on the bench at the Wanda
Messi will be in the starting line-up against Venezuela at Atlético de Madrid's Wanda Metropolitano in the Spanish capital. Juventus star Paulo Dybala is in the squad but he will not start, though Scaloni insisted the pair can play together, despite their previous struggles.
"I've already said yes, they [Dybala and Messi] are both compatibles but we have to work it out, I'm sure we can make it within some time," Scaloni added. "I think now is not the moment yet, it's logical, we didn't have much time to prepare so it's logical that they can be compatibles but with time I think we can make it."