‘It’s a lie’, says Messi
Argentina captain Lionel Messi is preparing to face Russia in a friendly match at the Luzkhini Stadium in Moscow on November 11.
The Barcelona playmaker gave an interview with TyC Sports where he broke silence on the claims that he runs the Argentina squad selection process.
He reiterated that he is just another player in the national team and does not impose his decisions on the team selection.
"It's a lie that I put my friends and the coaches I want in the national team, I'm just one more player."
There were also suggestions that Inter Milan striker Mauro Icardi was not part of the Argetine setup for a long time because he was not friends with Messi.
"They were saying that we didn't want Icardi with the national team. I never put a player [in the squad] or took one out."
Amongst other things, Messi also talked about Juventus player Paulo Dybala. The Juventus forward had said that it was difficult to play with Messi. The suggestion was taken by some outlets as Dybala having a dig at Messi.
The Barcelona star however says that he understood what Dybala was hinting at.
"There is not much left to say other than that when he said we were incompatible I understood what he meant from the first moment," he told TyC Sports.
While both are playmakers in their respective sides, there was a concern that both might be occupying similar spaces on the field while playing together for Argentina. This sentiment was somewhat shared by Argentina coach Jorge Sampaoli, who said: "I don't see as something bad what Dybala said. He said that he was happy to play with Messi, but he just did not find his place."
Messi also said that he has a chat pending with Diego Maradona. The former Argentina coach was disappointed not to have been invited to Messi’s wedding.