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Lionel Messi is 'Well' in Barcelona, Says Argentina’s Manager Scaloni

Argentina’s coach Lionel Scaloni has praised Lionel Messi for staying on with Barcelona, saying the decision allowed the athlete to remain settled and to stay fit. Scaloni said the 33-year-old is "well" in Barcelona.

"I spoke to Leo when everything was resolved and I saw him calm. Since his arrival, we've been able to have a long chat. He is happy to be here. All we wanted from a distance was for everything to be resolved and for him to play and to be fit. For us, it's positive that he stayed because he was able to play immediately, he knows the club, but in terms of decisions, we don't get involved in that, we don't step in the player's territory", said Scaloni.

His statement comes a day before Argentina faces Ecuador in the qualification stage for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. Scaloni said that despite the fact that Messi is playing behind forwards in Barcelona, in the national team he will play as an out-and-out striker.

"Leo will always be a striker, whether he plays as a 9 or another position. I don't think his position on the pitch at Barca has changed much, he is still playing up front", Scaloni said.

Messi will turn 35 in 2022, quite a venerable age for a forward, but he has signalled that he wants to play in the World Cup, which sports pundits say will likely be his last.

Argentina's road to Qatar is not going to be an easy one. Four top teams will qualify for the World Cup directly and the fifth one will play in inter-confederation playoffs. Argentina’s main rivals are Colombia, Uruguay, Chile, and, of course, arch-nemesis Brazil, but less acclaimed teams like Peru and Paraguay could also surpass Argentina.

Messi previously said that with new young players and a new manager, Argentina is capable of winning trophies.

The past football season turned out to be the worst for Messi during his time with Barcelona, as the club did not win any trophies in La Liga or other tournaments. But it seems that Messi was more upset by how the club was being run, having also engaged in feuds with Barcelona’s coaches and leadership. This prompted him to file a transfer request, but following lengthy negotiations, the Argentine was forced to stay because of Barcelona’s president, who Messi claimed had lied to him about the clause in his contract.

Recently, the athlete was upset about the club’s decision to sell striker Luis Suarez. Messi felt that the club had mistreated the Uruguayan, whom Messi described as "one of the most important players in the history of the club".

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