Argentina’s Lionel Messi wary of Venezuela at Copa America quarterfinals?

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Lionel Messi

Lionel Messi will definitely play for Argentina in their quarterfinals bout against Venezuela. Messi sat out Argentina’s first Copa America match against Chile. He then put in an impressive hat trick in Argentina’s match against Panama. Though Messi did not score in the team’s last group stage game against Bolivia, he still did not disappoint with his 45-minute appearance.

As their quarterfinals match loom in, Argentina’s head coach Tata Martino confirmed that Messi will play, ESPN reports. However, he remained coy when asked whether he will finally let Messi start for the team. Conflicting reports from Goal however has coach Martino saying Messi will start.

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Whether Lionel Messi will start or not, fans need not worry because Messi will definitely play. Messi, however, has showed wariness in facing Venezuela despite his brilliant Copa America performances.

“We have to prepare the game as we always do, to try to keep the same level because we are going to face a tough rival,” Messi said via SportsKeeda.

Venezuela thrived and survived on single goals for each of their group stage matches. Their last group stage match against Mexico had Venezuela starting strong with a debut goal for Jose Manuel Velasquez. However, Venezuela’s forays into the goals were effectively shunned and defended by Mexico.

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What remains  the coach remains cautious in letting Messi play. Messi missed their first game against Chile. Before the game, he suffered a back injury in a friendly against Honduras. For the succeeding Copa America games, Messi game time was extended by increments. From 30 to 45 minutes, will Messi finally figure for the whole length of the quarterfinals game?

“Sometimes he has to play, and sometimes he has to be on the bench. But he has that obligation, to fulfill and follow through with the fans that are paying for him to be there. He understands that. And he lives with that,” coach Martino explained in ESPN.

Lionel Messi and the rest of the team will play in the Copa America quarterfinals Argentina v Venezuela on June 18, Saturday, 7:00PM E.T.

Photo courtesy: 2 Top/Flickr

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