Argentina face the threat of an early exit from the Copa America but Lionel Messi remains hopeful they will make it out of their group.
The Albiceleste fell to defeat in their opening game against Colombia, while they were held to a draw by Paraguay on Wednesday night.
That in turn leaves them bottom of Group B with just one more game to play, as they must beat Qatar to have a chance to either go through to the next stage automatically or make it through to the qualification playoffs.
In turn, while their start to the tournament is a concern, Messi knows that they sill have a key game coming up and is remaining positive while also dealing with the frustration and disappointment of Argentina not hitting top form yet.
“Frankly, it’s a little frustrating not being able to get the win we need to take the next step,” Messi is quoted as saying by ESPN. “We knew this would be difficult, we’re still looking for the best group, for the best performance, to keep growing.
“[The squad] is hurt by the situation because we can’t manage to win a game, and we know today was key for us. We know we have to win the next game to advance.
“We know we’ll be playing for our lives. It would be crazy if we can’t advance from the group stage, when basically three [teams] advance from each group. I have no doubt we’ll do it.”
Time will tell if they can, but after bagging a crucial penalty to get a point last time out, Messi will now be fundamental to Argentina’s hopes of advancing yet again as they will look for inspiration from their captain to get through a difficult time.
Given the quality in the squad though, it’s fair to say that they shouldn’t be struggling at this early stage as it certainly doesn’t bode well for the latter stages if they can make it through.