Doha (Qatar) : Argentina manager Lionel Scaloni is pinning hopes that Lionel Messi will continue to play for Argentina much after the FIFA World Cup is over. The Argentinian superstar had announced at the start of the tournament that he will retire from international football after Qatar World Cup but Scaloni feels there will be a change of heart and he will continue.
“We will hope he continues playing. Let’s see if he does. We will keep enjoying him, that’s important for us and for the world of foo”ball.” Scaloni’s side faces Croatia in the first World Cup semifinal on Tuesday, after overcoming the Netherlands on penalties.
The Copa America champions led 2-0 at Lusail Stadium yet were pegged back to a 2-2 draw by Wout Weghorst’s double. “I know Messi and he was always like that, he was always a winner and he has pride and a big desire to continue playing football that makes us happy.
And also because the first year was difficult in terms of adaptation and now, from what they explain to me, their life in Paris is perfect. The children are happy, he and his family, his wife too,” Scaloni added.
The Argentina captain is eyeing his second World Cup final after his team lost to Germany in 2014 and the only major title missing from his collection, which includes every big club and the national team title.
Croatia will be looking to become the first back-to-back finalists since Brazil in 2002. Scaloni said both Angel Di Maria and Rodrigo De Paul would be fit and the absence of the suspended Marcos Acuna and Gonzalo Montiel would not be a problem.
“We have our own system, our style. Of course, in certain situations we need to take into account how the opponents are playing,” Scaloni said. “We won’t change our style beyond the system and that’s what we’re going to do.
During the game, we will of course make decisions (based on situations) and rise to the challenge.”