Lionel Messi

Messi staying at Barca 'a positive' for Argentina

After a tumultuous summer in which the Argentine superstar threatened to leave the Camp Nou, he eventually decided to stay

 
10:59am on Thursday 8th October 2020
By
Martin Macdonald

Argentina head coach Lionel Scaloni believes Lionel Messi staying at Barcelona is ultimately a positive thing for the national team as it means their captain is settled.

Barcelona's damaging 8-2 loss in the Champions League versus Bayern finished a season which was their first without silverware for 12 years.

Following the game, Messi faxed the club requesting the termination of his contract after becoming disillusioned with business on the pitch as well as off it.

Barcelona insisted that his release clause would have to be paid for him to leave, however, with Messi subsequently announcing his intention to stay rather than get involved in a legal dispute with the club he has been with since the age of 13.

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The Argentine has since said that any of the choice words he had at the time were in the best interest of the club, and that he was looking forward to the upcoming campaign at the Camp Nou.

Scaloni thinks Argentina will benefit from having a Messi not preoccupied with more drama at club level.

"I spoke to Leo when everything was resolved and I saw him calm," Scaloni said.

"Since his arrival, we've been able to have a long chat. He is happy to be here. He's now well in his club.

"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."

On Thursday, Argentina begin their World Cup qualifying campaign with a match at home to Ecuador at La Bombonera.

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