Messi eyes Copa America success


Despite only making a half-hour cameo appearance, the Barcelona attacker bagged a brace, and set up another, in the South Americans’ final friendly in their tour of Asia.

Messi, who captained Argentina at the 2014 FIFA World Cup hosted in Brazil, says the win was important despite the opposition being ranked 164th by football governing body FIFA, and points out the importance of learning to play under new national team coach ‘Tata’ Martino.

"In every game we have to play well and win," he tells the Argentinian Football Association's website.

"We always care about the results, but what we want now is to learn quickly what Tata [Martino] wants from us.

"We're happy with this result, regardless of who the opponent might be,” added the four-time Ballon d’Or winner.

The former Barcelona gaffer took over the reigns from Alejandro Sabella, despite the latter guiding The Albiceleste to the World Cup Final against Germany in July, and tasted his first defeat against arch-rivals Brazil on Saturday.

Martino led his Argentinian outfit to thrilling 4-2 victory over World Champions Germany in his first match in charge, despite the absence of star striker Leo Messi. However, ‘Tata’ tasted his first defeat after going down 2-0 to The Selecão in an international friendly played in Beijing over the weekend.

‘El Pulga’, as Messi is known in his homeland, says these friendlies are all being used to prepare for next year’s Copa America, the South American continental championships, which Argentina have failed to win since 1993. 

"We're preparing to win the Copa America, which Argentina have not won for so long.

"Tata has his own ideas, as all coaches do. We are still adapting to the demands of a new coach," said the 27-year-old.