Players or officials from Bolivia, Colombia and Venezuela have tested positive for the virus even before the South American tournament kicks off on Sunday in Brazil.
Messi, who will line up for Argentina in their opener against Chile in Rio de Janeiro on Monday, said fear of contracting the virus was rife in the squad.
– Stream FC Daily on ESPN +
“This worries us because it’s a risk for everyone to catch COVID-19,” he told reporters. “We try to be careful but it’s not easy. These things happen. “
“We will try to do whatever we can so that no one gets it, but sometimes it is not just up to us. “
Messi is not believed to have been vaccinated, although the South American Football Confederation said in April that it had received vaccines and aimed to have all international players vaccinated before the Copa America kicked off.
Argentina were scheduled to host this year’s Copa America, but withdrew at the last minute due to an increase in COVID-19 cases. The tournament has been moved to Brazil, although the death toll is higher there than anywhere else in the United States.
Although organizers claim to have strict protocols in place, Venezuela lost eight players to positive tests ahead of the tournament’s opening game against Brazil on Sunday and Bolivia lost three.
An inexperienced Venezuelan side lost 3-0, with Marquinhos, Neymar and Gabriel Barbosa scoring for the host country.
Brazil won this tournament two years ago, beating Argentina in the semi-finals in a controversial game, and Messi said he was desperate to finally replicate his club success at international level.
“I think now is the time to strike a blow and luck could come in this Copa America,” said the Barcelona striker and six-time winner of the best player in the world award.
“My big dream is to win a title with the national team. I was very close on several occasions and unfortunately it did not work. I will continue until I can no longer.
“I had the chance to win everything at club and individual level and it would also be nice to win with the national team. ”