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Uruguayan manager discusses Lionel Messi ahead of their Copa América against Argentina

Uruguay was one of two countries to receive an off week for the Copa América’s first matchday. 

Nonetheless, La Celeste will kick off the tournament against another South American heavyweight in Argentina. Uruguayan manager Óscar Washington Tabárez spoke to the media where Diario AS relayed the comments made by the 74-year-old.

One of the first questions that Tabárez is an obvious one, what’s their plan to contain FC Barcelona’s Lionel Messi. The veteran manager discussed one method that he wouldn’t have for the 33-year-old: not marking Messi.

“We are going to take into account what Messi is like in all the games we have played before. He plays so many games; I have seen so many Messi games in Argentina, Barcelona, ??and his performances; beyond that, he always surprises with his talent,” Tabárez said. “No individual defending, pity the poor person who has to do that. Some teams have tried it at some time.”

Tabárez then transitioned to how he feels the squad is feeling heading into the Copa América. Plenty of his marquee players are in the twilight of their careers, which is likely their last South American tournament.

“We are going with enthusiasm, we are clear about what we have to try, and later, we will see what happens,” Tabárez said.

Luis Suárez already has confirmed that this would be his last Copa América. There’s no doubt that Tabárez wants to win the competition for these players who will be saying goodbye to the national relatively soon.

“You are aware of how old you are. But, as the years go by, one realizes that it is getting closer and closer. In my case, it would be the last Copa América due to an age issue,” Suárez said.

“The next time, he would be very old. It does not give occupying a space in which you feel that you are not helping the team. There are players who come with great enthusiasm and hunger. Leaving them a spot is the most appropriate thing to do.”

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