Argentina Coach Scaloni Talks Messi and Di Maria Retirement

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By Martin Graham | 29th Mar 2022

Argentina manager Lionel Scaloni has talked about two of his veterans leaving the national team after the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

Lionel Messi and Angel Di Maria both played and scored in what could be their final appearance for the Albiceleste I’m Argentina on Friday, as they beat Venezuela 3-0 in their World Cup qualifier match.

Argentina have already qualified for the World Cup, buy have to finish the qualifiers in order to help FIFA prepare the rankings and to determine where the other nations stand in their bid for qualification.

Messi, speaking after the game, suggested that he would be retiring from Argentina after the World Cup, stating that he would have to “rethink a lot of things” after the global showpiece.

Di Maria also wrote on his Instagram after the match that he may have played his last game in Argentina as well.

Scaloni was asked about both their comments on Sunday and he noted that both players would have to retire at some point in their careers.

“After playing in a World Cup, everyone makes assessments. I’m not in the heads of the players to know what they’re thinking,” Scaloni said on Messi’s statement.

“In any case, you have to enjoy it. You don’t have to think about the future, enjoy their spectacular present.

“It’s the rule of life and at some point it will happen. It’s useless to think about what will happen after the World Cup.”

Speaking on Di Maria’s statement, Scaloni said: “I didn’t see the post but I understood it as being about this team, I would imagine.

“I spoke with him some time ago. That it’s the decision of the coach [for him to stop playing] and not them that leave us. There is an age for everyone, many trips have passed and matches, which I would imagine is difficult.

“I hope he said that about this year. I don’t know what is going on in his head. If it was the last, it could not have been any better. It came out like he would have dreamed it.

“He put in the effort to be there and it’s very difficult that someone else would have played it or been available.

“He didn’t just play, he had a goal, an assist and he got the ovation from the entire stadium.”

Martin Graham is an MFF sports writer

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