Argentina striker Mauro Icardi is hopeful that Lionel Messi will feature in next year’s Copa America
The Barcelona forward’s absence for Argentina continues after he again failed to show up for the international break.
It means that Messi has now not represented Argentina since June 30, where they lost to France in the last-16 stage of the 2018 World Cup.
But, even without their captain and record goalscorer, Argentina have lost just one of their six games under interim coach Lionel Scaloni.
Although Icardi would still rather have Messi in the team.
“He’s the best player in the world and we all hope he comes back with us, especially with the Copa America coming up,” Icardi told TyC Sports on Messi.
The Inter Milan captain scored the opening goal in Argentina’s 2-0 win over Mexico on Wednesday.
“I’d lacked a goal, I was waiting for it and now I’m happy,” Icardi added.
“It’s not easy to go without scoring. It creates a lot of chatter, but now I hope to keep going like this.
On coach Scaloni’s future, Icardi said: “We’re a really great group, we can grow a lot and we’re happy with the work of Leo [Scaloni], Walter [Samuel] and Pablo [Aimar].
“Of course, it’ll be the federation which decides their future but I can say that right now, there’s an atmosphere in the national team like never before
“Now we all feel comfortable and something very important is being built. I’d worked under the previous management, but I’ve never seen the friendship and union that exists between us now.”