Lionel Messi has denied knowledge of Barcelona’s reported request for Argentina to rest him for the October international break.
Reports have been that the Catalans have requested that the Argentine Football Association do not select Messi for October’s closing World Cup qualification games with Peru and Uruguay, so as to allow the striker to regain full fitness.
However, on from Albiceleste Coach Alejandro Sabella’s denial of having received such a request, the player has also indicated his bemusement.
“I know nothing about it, the truth is that I have learned about this from what I have heard, what I have been told,” Messi told reporters yesterday evening.
“As always, I want to be here, whether with my club or my national team, I want to be here. Obviously I do not know anything, but I want to be here.”
Argentina are now assured of their place at the World Cup finals next summer, having defeated Paraguay 5-2, with Messi netting twice from the penalty spot.
“The World Cup is seven games and when you are there you have to be 100 per cent. You cannot make a mistake as otherwise you are out.
“Thus far we have beaten some notable teams, but we lack things to become world champions.
“We miss a lot and whilst it is the dream of the people, of Argentina, we lack much and so we have to reach the competition at our best level.
“We have to keep winning, continuing on this line, keep growing.
“[The win against Paraguay] is what we wanted. We know how difficult it is and this is an important achievement, we are happy.
“We have gotten what we wanted [qualification] and in a great manner. We have been doing things well. We wanted to qualify and we have done that.”