Gerardo Martino says that he would not be surprised if Lionel Messi is the centre of attraction when his Argentina team takes on United States.
The Barcelona superstar is regarded as the best player in the world. Even though he has not been at his best in recent months, he still is a formidable player capable of single-handedly help teams win matches. Argentina face United States in the semifinal of the competition knowing that they can finally put rest the demons that have been haunting them for several decades now. Argentina have not been crowned as the champions of a major tournament for more than two decades.
More importantly, they have finished as the runners up in the last two major tournaments – World Cup and Copa America 2015. Apart from the joy of winning the centenary edition, players like Lionel Messi will finally able to celebrate success at national team level. Messi has won every major honours with Barcelona and holds the record for the most number of FIFA Ballon d’Or awards. Martino used the superstar in a different position for the game against Venezuela on Saturday. It proved to be the right decision, as Argentina managed a 4-1 win to progress into the semifinals.
The final of the 2016 Copa America could be a rematch between Argentina and Chile. "We have ways to confront the attention that Messi gets. Some teams mark him personally, others get physical and surround him with players. I think the fact that there is a coach that is going to try to neutralize the best player in the world is only logical. But it's another thing if it works. We decided it was more convenient to play Leo on the right versus Venezuela. Venezuela was playing well in the middle," said Martino ahead of the game.