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Scaloni will need Messi’s best version against Paraguay and Peru in WC qualifiers

Domagoj Kostanjšak

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Photo by CARL DE SOUZA/AFP via Getty Images

Despite his recent slight ankle issues, Lionel Messi was called up for Argentina’s World Cup qualifiers and should be ready to face both Paraguay and Peru. Of course, it is a shame for Barcelona that their icon won’t get any rest during the international break but the player himself is eager to compete for his country.

It goes without saying that winning some silverware for La Albiceleste is among his top priorities between now and retirement but at 33 years of age, this is becoming more and more difficult. For that reason, it’s crucial that Lionel Scaloni, the current national team head coach, gets the absolute best version of his superstar.

The 2020/21 season has been rather slow for his standards but Leo is successfully transitioning into a pure playmaking role, leaving the goal-scoring for his teammates. It will be interesting to see how that turns out for Argentina.

We know that they are certainly not lacking firepower in the front line but were always a bit scarce in other areas of the pitch, resulting in a heavily unbalanced squad. However, with Messi dropping in a slightly different role as of late, maybe the workload can finally be shared more equally across the team.

But that still doesn’t mean Leo won’t participate. On the contrary, Scaloni will be hoping to see his main man firing on all cylinders for the upcoming two matches.

So who knows, maybe Barcelona can profit from that as well as Messi will surely need to get back into full fitness for the big clash against Atlético Madrid in LaLiga.

And what better way to warm up than a couple of competitive games against tough opposition? After all, Leo lives for these kinds of clashes.

I’ve been a Barcelona fan for more than half of my life. What started as blind love is slowly turning into professional writing. Now, I get to write about Barca, analyse them, and voice my opinions on them across platforms. I’m happy to be a part of this big project.

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Report: Barcelona accept defeat in pursuit of Inter Milan striker

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Photo by Andrea Staccioli via Imago

According to reports from Corriere della Sera (relayed by SempreInter), Barcelona have now given up on their pursuit of Inter Milan striker, Lautaro Martinez. The 23-year-old has enjoyed a phenomenal season upfront with Romelu Lukaku, and he is a hot prospect in Europe. He has several skills that make him suited to a team like Barça, who have been chasing him for over a year now.

Inter were initially demanding northwards of €100m for the striker before the start of the 20/21 season. With their financial struggles, the Catalan club were unable to cope with their demands. However, the rumours linking Martinez to Barça did not die down in the months that followed. This is due to the Blaugrana’s dire need for a striker.

The Garnet and the Blue have been considering several options, with the Argentinian striker being only one out of a talented bunch including Aguero, Depay, Haaland, and more. Martinez was hotly tipped to join Barça, apparently wanting a union with his fellow Argentine teammate Lionel Messi.

However, with Inter’s meteoric rise to success, and Martinez’ key role in the team, it seems that he is no longer going to leave the club. The Milan based club is head and shoulders above all other teams in the Serie A, and look set to win their first title in eleven years.

The Argentine forward has played a huge part in Inter’s incredible campaign, scoring fifteen and assisting five in 30 matches this league campaign.

Antonio Conte has done a brilliant job with Inter, and he has also developed Martinez into a phenomenal striker; one who can both score goals as well as drop deep and create the play. With his immense pairing with Lukaku and the inevitable success of Inter, it seems impossible that a transfer is on the card for the young striker any time soon.

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