Copa America 2024 – Argentina finds itself having to go solo again, with Lionel Messi’s future still uncertain.

The presence of Lionel Messi in the quarter-finals of Copa America 2024 remains uncertain.

The Argentine national team did not feature their captain in the final matchday of the group stage against Peru.

Lionel Messi suffered a thigh issue during the match against Chile on the second matchday.

Messi was unable to feature in the match against Peru due to ongoing recovery.

With this resting period, the star is expected to return for the quarter-finals.

Argentina will face Ecuador on Friday (July 5, 2024) at 08:00 WIB.

Coach of the Argentine national team, Lionel Scaloni, remains cautious about Messi’s fate.

“After training sessions, we will determine Messi’s status,” Scaloni said as quoted by from ESPN.

“Typically, players feel better after a day’s rest,” Scaloni added.

Before making a decision, Scaloni plans to communicate directly with Messi.

Since Messi’s injury, Scaloni has not had direct communication with the star player.

With the latest Argentine match nearing, direct communication becomes crucial.

Scaloni won’t insist on Messi playing if he isn’t completely ready.

For a complete recovery, Messi requires adequate training time.

Argentina itself need not worry if their captain remains sidelined.

The Tango team achieved a perfect record in the three group stage matches.

This was achieved without solely relying on Messi’s goal-scoring record.

Messi’s presence undoubtedly boosts motivation for other Argentine players.

However, Scaloni has other stars he can depend on.

Lautaro Martinez has netted 4 goals in Copa America 2024.

Martinez will be Argentina’s mainstay in their effort to defend their title.

No Lionel Messi in Argentina’s Squad for the Paris 2024 Olympics

Lionel Messi’s name is absent from Argentina’s U-23 national team squad for the Paris 2024 Olympics.

This has been confirmed by U-23 national team coach Javier Mascherano.

The announcement of additional squad members for the Paris 2024 Olympics was made by Javier Mascherano on Tuesday (July 2, 2024) local time.

Lionel Messi is confirmed not to be participating in the Paris 2024 Olympics.

The Inter Miami megastar is currently focused with the senior Argentine national team in Copa America 2024.

However, his name has been mentioned to potentially participate in other major tournaments after Copa America 2024.

Messi himself stated in June 2024 that the Olympics would burden him in the summer of 2024.

Despite this, the Olympics hold sweet memories for Messi.

The 37-year-old player recently celebrated winning Olympic gold in football at the 2008 edition.

Messi’s absence from the Olympics was solidified by Mascherano’s announcement.

In lieu of Messi, the 40-year-old coach invited three of Messi’s teammates.

These players are Geronimo Rulli, Nicolas Otamendi, and Julian Alvarez.

Both Geronimo Rulli, Nicolas Otamendi, and Julian Alvarez were involved in Argentina’s success in winning the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

The rules for the Olympic men’s football predominantly feature players under 23 years old.

However, teams are allowed to include a maximum of three players who are significantly older than 23 years.

Another player added to complete Argentina’s U-23 national team squad is Claudio Echeverri, a graduate of the U-17 World Cup.

Argentina is placed in Group B for the Paris 2024 Olympics in football.

The Tango team will be in the same group as Morocco, Iraq, and Ukraine.

Before the tournament kicks off in France, they will participate in two friendly matches.

Their first match in the international sports competition will be against Morocco on July 24.

Argentina is expected to replicate their success in bringing home the gold medal from the Olympics.

The last time they won the gold medal was exactly two decades ago at the 2008 edition.

At that time, Messi and Mascherano played a crucial role in Argentina’s success.

However, in the last two editions of the Olympics in football, Argentina’s eternal rivals, Brazil, managed to win consecutive gold medals in the 2016 and 2020 editions.

Prediction for Copa America 2024 Quarter-Finals Argentina vs Ecuador: Lionel Messi Not 100 Percent

Argentina gears up to meet Ecuador in the quarter-finals of Copa America 2024 at NRG Stadium, Houston, Texas, USA, on Friday, July 5, 2024. Lionel Messi and his team chase the dream of winning a record 16th Copa America title.

The defending champions have maintained a perfect record in the ongoing tournament, having stylishly won against their opponents in Group A, Canada, Chile, and Peru.

Ecuador managed to advance from Group B, securing wins against Jamaica, drawing with Mexico, and facing defeat from group leaders Venezuela.

La Tricolor has fought hard to reach the final eight after drawing with Mexico and narrowly passing through on goal difference.

All eyes will be on whether the defending champions can achieve an easy victory or if their opponents will surprise the tough world champions and advance beyond them.

Lionel Messi Not 100 Percent

There are concerns about Lionel Messi’s fitness ahead of their final group stage match against Peru.

He was one of the few players, alongside Alexis Mac Allister and Rodrigo De Paul, who was rested. Lautaro Martinez continues to perform with his goal-scoring form, likely retaining his place in the starting XI.

Enner Valencia Returns

Meanwhile, Enner Valencia returns from suspension to lead the frontline and played the full 90 minutes as Ecuador faced Mexico.

There are no injury or suspension concerns to worry about ahead of the quarter-finals.

Predicted Lineups

Argentina’s lineup (4-3-3): Emiliano Martinez; Nahuel Molina, Romero, Lisandro Martinez, Nicolas Tagliafico; Di Maria, De Paul, Mac Allister; Messi, Lautaro Martinez, Julian Alvarez Ecuador’s lineup (4-2-3-1): Alexander Dominguez; Angelo Preciado, Felix Torres, Willian Pacho, Piero Hincapie; Alan Franco, Moises Caicedo; John Yeboah, Kendry Paez, Jeremy Sarmiento; Enner Valencia