'He is very tired' - Menotti anxious about Messi ahead of Argentina friendlies

Messi returns but Argentina lose 3-1 to Venezuela

Genetics expert reckons he can clone Barcelona star Lionel Messi

Sure, they might only be friendlies against Venezuela and Morocco, but many fans will be expecting to see the 31-year-old Argentine ace replicate his club form on the global stage ahead of this summer's Copa América.

Leandro Paredes and Giovani Lo Celso are expected to anchor the midfield while Paulo Dybala and Angel Di Maria will support Lautaro Martinez.

Earlier on Thursday, Scaloni told a press conference he hoped the squad would "step up" to the level of their five-time Balon d'Or winning team-mate. We have been very up front with him and I'm here to help.

One Lionel Messi is enough to give defenders around the world sleepless nights but a scientist has claimed that the Barcelona and Argentina ace could be cloned to make a new footballing superstar to rival the striker.

Messi is Argentina's all-time leading scorer with 65 goals but is yet to win anything with his national team. Subscribe to our SMS sports service by texting "SPORTS" to 22840. "We're not going to change it, that (Messi) is coming is more incentive for us and another addition". "We need to keep improving".

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"If he wants to play with Argentina, better".

Scaloni refused to be drawn on whether Messi would also travel with the squad for next week's friendly against Morocco in Tangier, but said he would not risk the Barcelona forward's fitness.

Messi will be in the starting line-up against Venezuela at Atletico Madrid's Wanda Metropolitano in the Spanish capital.

"For us to take on Argentina is a good way to see how we stack up".

"The presence of the best player in the world lifts the game's expectation", Dudamel said. Hopefully with the return of Messi the team will be strengthened.

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