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Lionel Messi Boost For Argentina Ahead Of Copa America Semi-final Against Canada

Argentina received a significant boost ahead of their Copa America semi-final against Canada as coach Lionel Scaloni confirmed that captain Lionel Messi is ready to play despite concerns over a hamstring injury. Messi had missed Argentina’s final group match due to a thigh issue but returned for their quarter-final victory against Ecuador, playing the entire 90 minutes despite the match going to penalties, where he made headlines for missing his spot kick.

“99 percent of the time, [Messi] is fit to play. It’s never happened to me that he’s not fit to play. Every time he’s come out on the pitch, he’s fit to play. For [Canada], he’s fit to play, without a doubt. It’s a very easy decision for me because it’s a very clear decision: if he’s okay, he plays, and if he’s not, he plays the last 30 minutes. It’s that simple,” Scaloni stated in a pre-match press conference, as quoted by Goal.com.

Scaloni also acknowledged Messi’s impact, noting that even when not fully fit, Messi’s presence on the field is invaluable. He emphasized his confidence in Messi’s ability to contribute significantly to the team.

“When he’s fit, he always plays. There are no doubts. Who would have any doubts? I’m the coach, so I have no doubts. I’m the one who decides, and when I see that he’s fit to play, even if he’s not at 100 percent, he’s going to play. I take responsibility for that decision, but I have no doubts. It’s true that it won’t weigh on me. I know what he can give us even if he’s not in optimal condition, and I wouldn’t make the mistake of not putting him on the pitch knowing how much he can contribute,” Scaloni added.

Argentina remains undefeated in the tournament and is just two matches away from defending their Copa America title. They will face Canada at MetLife Stadium on Tuesday local time, aiming to secure their fourth final appearance in five tournaments.

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