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Scaloni admits Messi problem after record-equaling Argentina appearance

Lionel Messi, Argentina
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After Argentina’s narrow victory over Paraguay in the Copa America, Lionel Scaloni opened up on a fatigued Lionel Messi.

Argentina manager Lionel Scaloni has admitted it’s very difficult to not rely on Lionel Messi even in his tired state.

The Barcelona skipper equaled Javier Mascherano’s all-time appearance record of 147 caps for Argentina at international level by playing in a 1-0 win over Paraguay on Tuesday morning.

Messi, who will celebrate his 34th birthday on Thursday, has not missed a minute of the team’s three Copa America games so far, and Scaloni has conceded that fatigue has kicked in.

“The reality is that Messi has been playing every game, and it is very difficult not to count on him. Even though he is tired, he continues to make the difference,” said the Albiceleste coach as per Goal.

“Today we made several changes and, despite that, we were able to take all three points.”

Despite not scoring or supplying an assist, Messi gave another superb performance to help steer Argentina into the Copa America quarter-finals with a 1-0 win over Paraguay.

The six-time Ballon d’Or winner was heavily involved in the build-up for Papu Gomez’s match-winning goal. He also forced Paraguay goalkeeper Antony Silva into a save from a fine free-kick.

Argentina will now face Bolivia next Tuesday at the Arena Pantanal in Brazil.