Messi came to Copa America final with injury, coach says – .

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Messi came to Copa America final with injury, coach says – .


RIO DE JANEIRO, July 11 (Reuters) – Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni paid tribute to Lionel Messi on Saturday, congratulating his team captain and revealing he played in the Copa America victory over Brazil with a injury.

“If you knew how he played in Copa America you would love him even more,” Scaloni told reporters after Argentina’s 1-0 victory at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro.

“You can never do without a player like him, even if he is not in great shape like in this game and the previous one. “

Scaloni did not say what the injury was, but he praised Messi on a night when the Argentines took to the streets in large numbers to celebrate their first international title in 28 years and Messi’s first victory with the ‘National team.

Messi, a six-time FIFA Player of the Year winner, won all club and individual honors with Barcelona, ​​but had lost his previous four finals with Argentina.

The 34-year-old had shown his frustration with defeats, retiring after losing the 2016 Copa America to Chile to return to the international fold a few weeks later.

“In the end, he didn’t throw in the towel and he did it,” Scaloni said.

“We are talking about the best footballer of all time and everyone knew how important it was for him to win a title with the national team. “

“I have a different relationship from the (usual) coach-player relationship,” Scaloni added. “It’s closer. We greet each other, we kiss and I am eternally grateful to him and his teammates.

Report by Ramiro Scandolo in Buenos Aires, written by Andrew Downie, editing by Lincoln Feast.

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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