Scaloni hopes to 'convince' Di Maria to reverse Argentina retirement call

By Sports Desk July 10, 2024

Lionel Scaloni has not ruled out trying to "convince" Angel Di María to reverse his Argentina retirement decision after the 2024 Copa America.

The 36-year-old announced in November that the tournament in the United States would mark the last time he represents his country.

Di Maria earned his 144th cap for Argentina in Tuesday's 2-0 win over Canada as La Albiceleste reached a sixth Copa final in eight editions.

And having played in four of Argentina's five games en route to this latest final, starting three of those, Di Maria continues to show his importance to the world champions.

Ahead of what is scheduled to be Di Maria's final Argentina game on Sunday, against either Colombia or Uruguay, Scaloni told reporters: "You know how I feel about Angel.

"We don't want to retire him earlier than needed. We don't want to feel melancholy. We have to let him play, and then we'll see if we can convince him or not to stay with us.

"But so far, he's here, and he has to be allowed to enjoy this moment."

Nicolas Otamendi is also set to bow out of the international scene after next weekend's final, while uncertainty surrounds whether Lionel Messi will stay on.

All three played a part as Argentina saw off Canada at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey to remain on course for a third major title in three years.

Canada had the better of the early exchanges, but Julian Alvarez's 22nd-minute opener was added to by Messi from close range early in the second half.

"It is extremely tough to reach another final," Scaloni said. "It is tough because we know how hard it is to get there.

"The bar has been set very high. Everyone thought it was going to be a bed of roses and it wasn't like that at all. Canada proved it by being a very difficult opponent."

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