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Argentina will always find a role for Lionel Messi, says Scaloni

Lionel Scaloni has suggested Argentina would be willing to shuffle players around to accommodate Lionel Messi as he edges towards the end of his career.

Inter Miami star Messi, 36, has offered no indication as to when he may retire from football and, less than a year ago, proved he was still the world’s best player by leading his country to their first World Cup title since 1986.

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Inevitably, Messi will start to slow down at some stage but coach Scaloni – this morning linked with Real Madrid – feels the national team will do their utmost to keep him in the line-up for as long as possible.

He said on a Twitch interview with former Inter Milan striker Christian Vieri: “We tell him to play for as long as he can.

“He has proved that he doesn’t have an end. You don’t know when he will give up. It’s incredible.

“I think he can continue to play [for the national team] but the decision is his. He can play wherever he wants and the team arranges itself around him.”

Scaloni took over as coach of Argentina following the 2018 World Cup, although he has recently expressed doubts as to whether he wishes to continue in the role, and still marvels at what Messi can produce.

“To watch him up close up, it is something very difficult to describe,” Scaloni added.

“You have to see him. If I told you the things he does in training, you wouldn’t believe me. It’s crazy.”

It’s almost 12 months since Argentina’s success in Qatar, and Scaloni believes it was a different Messi that drove his country on.

“Everyone says the World Cup is the most extraordinary thing for a player,” Scaloni said. “He was missing [winning] a World Cup.

“I believe as good as he is, he also played [in Qatar] with his heart. And then he becomes unstoppable.”

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