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Bauza: No doubts over Messi motivation

Argentina coach Edgardo Bauza insists star Lionel Messi is “very motivated” to play for the national team after reversing his retirement decision.

Messi, 29, stunningly retired from international duty following his side’s Copa America Centenario final loss in June, but announced earlier this month he would continue representing Argentina.

Bauza, who was named Argentina boss at the start of August, said he had no questions over Messi’s desire to represent the country.

“During our discussion, Leo showed me that he was very motivated,” he told FM Uno.

“We talked about the Copa America, the World Cup. He’s fine, and we’ll take care of him.”

The Barcelona star, however, is battling a hamstring injury ahead of World Cup qualifiers against Uruguay and Venezuela.

Argentina are well-placed in qualifying, sitting third in the table and just two points off top spot.

Ahead of his first game in charge, Bauza said he wanted his team to develop a good balance.

“It’s not bad to think that finishing second is a failure. We are Argentina, and this way of thinking has led us to win titles,” he said.

“I’ll find what I do with all my teams – balance. Argentina will attack when it has the ball and defend without it.

“It’s my style of play and that’s what my coaches taught me when I was a player – finding the balance in every game.”

Tue 30 Aug, 2016
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