Lionel Scaloni optimistic of Lionel Messi’s Argentina comeback in March

Argentina manager Lionel Scaloni has suggested that the board have a good feeling regarding the potential return to Lionel Messi to the national fold. The Barcelona superstar previously featured for the country during the 4-3 defeat to France in the round of 16 stage of the World Cup and he has since made himself unavailable for international duty.

Despite this, the 31-year-old has not necessarily indicated that he is retiring from the national team role and Scaloni remains hopeful that the veteran will return during the next international break where the Argentines are scheduled to face Venezuela in a friendly, he said: “We will speak with Leo in the days before the March list. When the time is right we will speak. I hope he can be here but more than that, we want him to be happy. I have a good feeling.”

Meanwhile, Brazil head coach Tite shared the same opinion as Scaloni and said that he would want the best athletes to participate at the Copa America this summer, he told: “I want Messi and all the best athletes to come to Brazil. A team, to be the best, have to win with competition and overcome high-level opponents. Which is why we expect Neymar, Messi, [Alexis] Sanchez and [Luis] Suarez to come… And also [Paolo] Guerrero.”

Since the World Cup, Argentina have experienced with a number of young players and the likes of Mauro Icardi and Lautaro Martinez have been among those offered opportunities upfront. Nonetheless, there has not been any massive improvement in terms of the chances created and the return of Messi could certainly make the difference ahead of the Copa America in Brazil.

Argentina have reached the final of the Copa America in each of the previous two editions but on each time, they have succumbed to penalty shoot-out defeats at the hands of Chile.