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Argentina needs Copa America more than just Messi - Scaloni

1:13 PM MYT 04/12/2019
Lionel Messi Argentina
The country's superstar is still searching for international silverware, but his coach has stressed his personal needs come second

Lionel Scaloni hopes the 2020 Copa America is not Lionel Messi's last and stressed Argentina need silverware more than their superstar does.

Argentina will open next year's tournament against Chile at El Monumental on June 12, it was revealed on Tuesday.

Scaloni hopes 32-year-old Messi, who will again be aiming to win his first senior international trophy, plays beyond the 2020 Copa and admitted the entire nation is desperate for success, not just the Barcelona star.

"I don't know if it will be the last. Hopefully not," the Argentina coach told reporters.

"But Argentina need the title, more than just him. Hopefully, don't promise anything, but we'll give the maximum to reach the final."

Argentina, who last won the Copa in 1993, will also face Uruguay, Paraguay, Australia and Bolivia in Group A after their opener against Chile.

Scaloni's men beat Chile in the third-place play-off this year, in a game that saw both Messi and Gary Medel sent off.

While tempers flared on that occasion, Scaloni believes the rematch is an ideal way to kick off their campaign. 

"It's a nice game to start," he said. "Anyone would have been difficult because the debut is always difficult, but this one has a special feeling.

"Chile has always been difficult for Argentina, especially in recent times. Difficult, but we are fine."

Argentina will also face the Socceroos in their group with the invited nation eager to upset Messi's side on their own turf. 

"We've got Argentina lined up in our sights," Australia's coach Graham Arnold said. "We coach the team to go out there with the mentality of winning the game. Nothing will be different.

"Why can't we go out there and shock the world and beat Argentina in their own country? That's the expectation.

"Top four is our first goal, yes, to get through to the quarter-finals."

No invited nation has ever won Copa America with Argentina last triumphing in 1993 and finishing as runners up four times since. 

Following 2020's edition, Copa America will be held every four years with the tournament set to head to Ecuador in 2024.