Argentina boss Jorge Sampaoli

Messi to feature in Spain friendly - Sampaoli

Lionel Messi will be at the heart of Argentina's bid for 2018 FIFAWorld Cup glory - but head coach Jorge Sampaoli is not going to try teaching the Barcelona superstar anything. "It's madness that he can not enjoy his talent".

The 30-year-old admits that the Juventus star play the same role as he does for his Italian side, and added that the two of them had talked about the matter.

"The biggest challenge is to optimize the team so that it does not minimize itself because of the presence of such an important and crucial player", Sampaoli wrote.

"Luckily, the dialogue with him is very constant". Barcelona are closing in on La Liga's title, face Roma in the last eight of the Champions League and have a Copa del Rey final to come as they eye up a treble. "But we want the best players to be on the pitch and Messi is one of them".

While of the opinion that too much is expected of Messi, Sampaoli concedes that he is working with a special talent.

Giving an update on his talisman's fitness, Sampaoli praised Messi and his help for those around him in the squad. "We have to find that certainty". From there, we must make a team surrounding that.

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He said: "My idea is to play against Spain, I just need to see how I feel after the last training session".

Sampaoli wrote that managing Messi is something he appreciates.

However, the two-time World Cup winners will be without Angel di Maria, who hurt his thigh against Italy, and Sergio Aguero, with the Manchester City striker recovering from a knee injury. It's a responsibility and an enjoyment.

Messi will turn 31 during the tournament, which could mean this is his final chance to win the trophy that would arguably cement his place as the greatest player of all time. Leo continues to prioritize football above everything else.

"Barcelona know Argentina will always look after him [Messi]".

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