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Lionel Scaloni offers to quit if Argentina win the Copa America

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Argentina manager Lionel Scaloni jokingly claimed he will retire if his team win the Copa America tournament.

After finishing runners-up to Chile in the past two events, Argentina head to Brazil determined to go one better this summer. They will kick things off against Colombia in Salvador for their Group B opener tonight.

While La Albiceleste have won two of their last three encounters with Colombia, Los Cafeteros have excelled under new manager Carlos Queiroz.

The former Real Madrid boss has won three of his opening four matches and warned Argentina that his confident players won’t be holding anything back.

But victory is a must for Scaloni, with the nation desperately needing to erase the painful memory of their back-to-back Copa America final defeats and their World Cup last-16 elimination to France last summer.

Argentina haven’t won a major competition since the 1993 Copa America.

“If we win the Copa America, I will retire,” said Scaloni, according to Fox Sports.

“This team reached two Copa America finals. It’s important to think about it and know that it’s very difficult to reach there and they won nothing. It will be very difficult and complicated.

“We are here to play all the matches and to show that these players can play with this shirt.”

After briefly retiring from international football in 2016, Lionel Messi is determined to finally claim glory with Argentina.

Despite rarely featuring for the national team this year, the Barcelona superstar bagged a brace in a 5-1 friendly win over Nicaragua last week.

“I want to emphasise his enthusiasm to play football. He was born to play football, he was born to win,” Scaloni said.

“He’s enthusiasm impressed us and the fact he is here sharing that desire to win with us makes us enormously happy.”

The Argentina and Colombia match will begin at 00:00 (CET).

SAN JUAN, ARGENTINA – JUNE 07: Lionel Messi of Argentina drives the ball during a friendly match between Argentina and Nicaragua at Estadio San Juan del Bicentenario on May 7, 2019 in San Juan, Argentina. (Photo by Marcelo Endelli/Getty Images)