Argentine manager Lionel Scaloni has stated that Lionel Messi exercises full authority over his international career.
After the 2022 World Cup final, Messi announced that he would continue playing for the Albiceleste despite speculations of retiring from international football at the age of 35.
Scaloni has kept the possibility open for the Paris Saint-Germain superstar to join his team in the next World Cup, which will take place in Canada, Mexico, and the United States four years from now.
Messi won Copa America and World Cup with Argentina
Messi’s retirement decision is entirely up to him, according to the Argentina boss, who believes that the footballer is still fit to make a valuable contribution to the team.
“Messi will continue to come until he says otherwise. I see him happy on the pitch and within the selection,” Scaloni said at a press conference on Tuesday.
“Leo’s looking good to me. He deserves all that love. He and all the players who are here deserve to go out and receive that love because they have not been able to live it.”
“We are world champions, but that doesn’t mean we have the right for more.
“Just because we win we can’t do whatever we want. That’s what [the players] have to understand. The message is that a new process is beginning: the pitch is what rules. From there on, those who are world champions have no advantage, we will have to keep working.”
For Argentina’s upcoming friendlies against Panama and Curacao, Scaloni has summoned the majority of his squad that won the World Cup. The team’s next set of competitive fixtures is scheduled for the 2024 Copa America.