Captain Lionel Messi has opted for caution as Argentina face the knockout stage of the Copa America.
Gerardo Martino’s team have reached the quarter-finals with relative ease, courtesy of victories over Chile, Panama and Bolivia, but Barcelona star Messi is not getting too carried away.
“We know the most difficult part begins now, so we have to forget about what we’ve done already and understand another Copa America starts from here,” Messi told La Nacion.
“Now, in the next game [against Venezuela], I hope to be able to play the whole 90 minutes. In the last match against Bolivia [after coming on as a substitute] I was able to run with pace and the pain practically disappeared and is no longer there.
“The team is in good shape, both as a group and the way we’ve played, and we’ve been working together for a long time now. We know each other well and are all confident.
“What we’ve done so far has been very good. We’ve improved game by game and have overcome all our opponents well, and also won well,” he concluded.