Messi thriving in Argentina team environment, says Scaloni

By Obiajulu Chiagoziem

Six times ballon d’or winner, Lionel Messi has always been criticised over his performances back home in Argentina, however, of recent he’s been striving harder, says Scaloni.

It is very difficult that [Messi] has not performed with the national team,” Scaloni told a news conference ahead of Thursday’s CONMEBOL World Cup qualifier with Peru.

“There will be moments and team moments and I think that’s the most important thing in the end.”

Messi, amidst previous criticisms, surpassed Pele’s record, and also scored his 80th goal against Uruguay on Sunday.

“The team is the one that takes the situation forward, the one that makes him even better,” Scaloni added. “I think he is good in the team and comfortable with his team-mates. All of this makes it even better.

“It is clear that without the team his performance is not so reflected. Today we are doing well as a group, as a team and that is what is most important.”

Scaloni also used this medium to appreciate and welcomed Sergio Aguero closing in on a return to fitness, having featured in a Barcelona training match on Wednesday.

The 33-year-old, who was part of Argentina’s Copa success, has not played for Barcelona since his off-season move from Premier League champions Manchester City due to a calf injury.

Speaking on Aguero’s return and subsequently, general players time, he said “The case for him, as with the other boys who have not been able to play, the most important thing is that they compete in their club and make things difficult for us,”

“We have a team of enormous hierarchy, a team of great forwards and the final decision is the most difficult. What interests us is that they play for their club, that they perform well and we will have time to make the decision.

“Logically, we like them to play and that they are in continuity and we expect that from the boys who are not there.”