Madrid, March 24 (IANS) Argentine coach Jorge Sampaoli, winner of the 2015 Copa America with Chile, and who doesn’t currently helm any team, said his countryman and Barcelona superstar Lionel Messie is uncontrollable on the pitch, even if he is not in his best form.
In an interview published on Thursday by Spanish newspaper Marca, Sampaoli said that when Messi is happy and at his best, as is the case lately with Barcelona, he poses an incredible threat against any team and Chile has to focus to stop him, reports Efe.
Sampaoli delivered these remarks ahead of the clash on Friday between Argentina and Chile in the CONMEBOL 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification.
“It is difficult to play against Messi even when he gives 70 percent of his actual level. Chile has to focus to stop the threat of the best player in the world,” Sampaoli said.
The Argentine coach believes that Friday’s clash is not a decisive game, despite Chile holding fifth place within the continental standings with seven points and ahead of Argentina in 6th place.
Sampaoli believes that Chile will play Friday’s game with great confidence, especially after winning last year’s Copa America, while Argentina is sure that its stars are capable of helping the team qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.