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09/07/24 | 10:14 am

Argentina receive major boost as head coach Scaloni confirms Messi fit to play in Copa America semi-final

Argentina received a major boost ahead of their Copa America semi-final clash against Canada, as head coach Lionel Scaloni confirmed that captain Lionel Messi is fit to play despite hamstring injury concerns.

After missing Argentina’s final group stage match due to a thigh complaint, Messi returned to the field in their quarter-final triumph against Ecuador.

He went on to play 90 minutes of their quarter-final clash. The game went to penalties after a 1-1 draw, and the Inter Miami forward made headlines after missing his spot kick.

“99 percent of the time, [Messi] is fit to play. It’s never happened to me that he’s not fit to play. Every time he’s come out on the pitch, he’s fit to play. For [Canada], he’s fit to play, without a doubt. It’s a very easy decision for me because it’s a very frank decision: if he’s fine, he plays, and if he’s not fine, he plays the last 30 minutes. It’s that easy,” Scaloni said in a pre-match press conference, as quoted by Goal.com.

Scaloni went on to acknowledge the contribution that Messi makes despite not being fully fit. He stated that he wouldn’t make the “grave mistake” of not putting him on the pitch, knowing the difference that he can create for his team.

Argentina is unbeaten in the tournament and is just two games away from defending their crown. Argentina will face Canada on Tuesday (local time) at MetLife Stadium. If La Albiceleste defeats Canada in the semi-final, the victory will mark their fourth final appearance in five tournaments.

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