Portugal coach Fernando Santos has confirmed that his team will not be providing special attention to Lionel Messi when they meet Argentina in a friendly match on Wednesday. This is one of the high profile friendlies scheduled during this international break.
The match will be held at Old Trafford. Portugal will be taking a break from the Euro 2016 qualifying campaign, in which they have accumulated six points from the opening three matches, and will be concentrating on this friendly. Santos, who recently quit the Greece managerial job in order to take over Portugal, says that Argentina have a number of quality players apart from Messi.
The likes of Sergio Aguero and Angel di Maria have shined for their clubs in recent months. Messi, meanwhile, has largely been a provider at Barcelona with Neymar scoring all the goals. Argentina are also under the management of Gerardo Martino, who was appointed only in the summer. After reaching the finals of the World Cup 2014, Argentina were extremely disappointed not to have won the title. This match will also see two of the best players in the world – Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi – go head-to-head. Santos, though, is not ready to get caught up in the talk about the superior of these two players.
“Their coach [Gerardo Martino] already said that position is the most indicated to Messi. If he played for the other side you would have asked me if my centrals would focus on Messi there. We have to worry about what Argentina does. Obviously, if Argentina have a player with that kind of quality it makes difference but Argentina is a very strong team with so many great players, so we have to pay attention to all of Argentina’s movements,” said Santos. Portugal recently managed a 1-0 win over Armenia in the Euro 2016 qualifiers.