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Lionel Messi lauds Argentina 'old guard' as they seal Copa America final spot

Lionel Messi lauds Argentina 'old guard' as they seal Copa America final spot

Lionel Messi paid tribute to Argentina's "old guard" as they reached another Copa America final.

The football icon scored his first goal of the tournament as Argentina booked a place in the weekend showpiece by beating Canada 2-0 on Tuesday (09.07.24) and he is delighted that experienced stars such as Angel Di Maria, Nicolas Otamendi and himself will get to represent their country in another major final.

Messi said: "What this team has done, what the Argentina national team has done, because after this everyone gives more importance to all the finals that me and the 'older guys' have played.

"To be honest, it has been a difficult tournament, the level has been as equal as ever, very bad surfaces, high temperatures that make it hard to play, very tough rivals. So, the fact we made it and we are here again playing a final is something to enjoy and highlight."

It has been suggested that the final could mark the end of Messi's international career but the Inter Miami player has no plans to retire at the moment.

He said: "As I've said before, I intend to continue.

"I intend to keep living day by day without thinking about what will come in the future or whether I'll continue or not. It's something I just live each day. I'm 37 years and only God knows when the end will be."

Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni insists that there is no pressure on Messi to make a decision on his future.

He said: "We leave them calm from our part; we won't be the ones to close the door on them. He can be with us until he wants, and even after he retires, he can join me if I'm still coach. And if not, I'll take him where I go. He would be a great help."

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