Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni is hoping Lionel Messi’s decision to stay at Barcelona will benefit the national team when World Cup qualifying starts this week.

Messi pushed for a move away from the Spanish club this off-season only to change his mind after the club refused to let him leave for free, opting to stay instead of launching a potentially ugly legal battle against the club. Scaloni told a news conference on Wednesday that he played no part in the decision but was happy to see the issue resolved so that Messi could focus fully on his performances on the pitch.

‘Positive’

“From afar we wanted it to be sorted, obviously we wanted him to play and to be in form,” Scaloni said. “It is positive that he has stayed because he has started to play, he knows the environment and that is the only thing I can say.”

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