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SPORTS | 10-09-2021 02:56

Lionel Scaloni: 'Messi always makes the difference'

National team coach hails Rosario-born superstar after his hat-trick against Bolivia at the Monumental.

Albiceleste coach Lionel Scaloni hailed superstar forward Lionel Messi on Thursday, saying the national team captain "always makes the difference" for Argentina.

Speaking after the Number 10 had scored a hat-trick to lead the Albiceleste to a 3-0 win over Bolivia at the Monumental, Scaloni said Messi deserved all the praise heaped upon him.

"Winning magnifies everything. And Messi always makes the difference. And of course, for people, if he was an idol before, imagine now that he has won [the Copa América with Argentina] and they are all excited," he said at a press conference.

That was a reference to Argentina's fans, who were present at River Plate's stadium for the first match with spectators in Argentina since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic in March 2020.

Scaloni, however, warned that qualification for Qatar 2022 is not yet secured, despite Argentina being at second place in the standings with 18 points, three points behind Brazil.

"The joy lasts until this press conference ends and then we think about what is coming," he said.

In the next round of qualifiers, Argentina face Paraguay, Uruguay and Peru.


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