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Lionel Messi plays down expectations ahead of Argentina’s Copa defense

Lionel Messi has warned that “nothing will be easy” for Argentina as they prepare to defend their Copa America title.

Messi was in superb form as Lionel Scaroni’s men won their final warm-up game 4-1 against Guatemala in Washington, scoring twice to add to Inter striker Lautaro Martinez’s tally.

Manchester United defender Lisandro Martinez’s goal gave Guatemala a stunning lead before Messi took control of the game.

Argentina are not only continental champions but also world champions following their victory in Qatar in 2022 but Messi has been preaching caution ahead of the Copa, which starts on June 20 when they face Canada in Atlanta.

The Inter Miami star said: “We will continue to give big and we are eager to keep trying to keep achieving things like we always say.

“It will be very difficult, it will not be easy at all because the games are getting more and more difficult. Winning is difficult but we will try again.”

Carboni improves his chances

Scaloni will name his Copa squad this weekend with Valentin Carboni in the running after impressing Messi against Guatemala.

He said of the Monza striker: “To me, it looks like he has a great future, and a gift that we must use to advantage.”

“Since we arrived in the United States, he has been training with us. I have seen him in the Under 20s but he has grown up a lot. He has great quality.”

Argentina are in Group A along with Canada, Peru and Chile.

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