Lionel Messi must be left in peace, says Argentina boss Scaloni

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Interim Argentina boss Lionel Scaloni says Lionel Messi must be left in peace and not pressured to return to action with the national team.

Barcelona star Messi has been left out of La Albiceleste’s squad for games against Guatemala and Colombia, and his international future is unclear.

Scaloni says the team are missing their talisman but talk about what the future holds for both the nation and player can wait until a permanent replacement for Jorge Sampaoli is appointed.

“We miss him. But we have to let him be, in peace,” Scaloni, who won seven Argentina caps as a player, was quoted as saying by TyC Sports.

“He has to enjoy his family, his life. We shall see what happens later. Once we have a project, a name [new full-time coach], we will see what Leo thinks.”

Messi gave an in-depth interview to RAC1 recently where he spoke on a range of topics but did not discuss whether he’d be returning to play for Argentina.

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Live Barcelona Blog: La Liga yet confirm Barcelona's derby with Girona will be played in the United States

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Welcome to today’s Barcelona blog. David Cooper and the rest of the Sport360 team will be with you throughout the day with the latest news, rumours and insights from the Camp Nou.

Our daily blog will ensure you have all the latest updates throughout the week but we want you to get involved, too.

Tell us your thoughts on what’s happening by tweeting @Sport360.

23:24 – La Liga refuse to confirm if Barcelona will play in US

Though reports have emerged claiming Barcelona’s derby with Girona in January will be La Liga’s first game played in the United States, the league have chosen not to confirm the location of the fixture.

A spokesman for La Liga told Press Association Sport: “La Liga is working together with our new partner Relevent Sports to organise the first fixture to be scheduled in the USA. At this point we cannot confirm the teams, match, date or season.”

Read more here.

FC Barcelona v SD Huesca - La Liga

20:26 – Arthur humbled by Xavi comparison

Lionel Messi heaped high praise on Arthur when he said the Brazilian reminded him of former team-mate and Barcelona icon Xavi.

To that, Arthur has pumped the brakes on the comparison and revealed his admiration for Xavi.

Watch his response here.

GettyImages-1017236862

14:00 – Busquets set to sign new contract

Barcelona midfielder Sergio Busquets is close to signing a new contract at the Camp Nou, according to Mundo Deportivo.

The Spain international has been in talks over a new deal over the summer and is now set to put pen to paper after agreeing terms.

As well as a wage increase, the 30-year-old’s release clause will increase from €200 million to €500m.

10:00 – Messi determined to win UCL, says Suarez

Luis Suarez admits it’s been difficult to watch Real Madrid dominate the Champions League over the past few years and insists captain Lionel Messi is determined to win the competition again.

Los Blancos have clinched the last three Champions League titles, and four since 2014, while Barcelona’s most recent triumph was in 2015.

The Uruguayan revealed that his teammate Messi is more motivated than ever to help the Catalan giants get back to the pinnacle of Europe, as he aims to add a fifth Champions League winners’ medal to his mantlepiece.

“He’s really motivated, even more so after the World Cup and the Champions League,” Suarez told RAC1.

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Watch: Arthur deflects comparison to Barcelona legend Xavi

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Arthur has already drawn high praise in his brief time spent at Barcelona, but the Brazilian wants to pump the breaks on being compared to club legend Xavi.

The 22-year-old received the compliment from team-mate Lionel Messi, who compared him to Xavi – something that humbled Arthur.

“I am Arthur. And they (Xavi and Andres Iniesa) are them. Two world-class players that worked to deserve this. I still have a lot to do,” he said.

See what else Arthur had to say in the video below.

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