Argentina coach wants Messi fresh

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Jorge Sampaoli. reuters

BUENOS AIRES (AFP) – Argentina coach Jorge Sampaoli said Tuesday he expects captain and star striker Lionel Messi to arrive at the World Cup in peak form after he battled fatigue at the 2014 tournament.

“We’ve spoken with Leo about what’s happening and that he doesn’t find himself in the same situation four years ago,” Sampaoli said at a news conference.

He added the goal was to ensure that Messi “makes the most of his rest periods to arrive at the top of his physical and mental form”.

Messi scored four goals as Argentina reached the final in Brazil, but he cut a peripheral figure in the latter stages as his side finished runners-up to Germany.

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