Lionel Scaloni hopes the 2020 Copa America is not Lionel Messi's last as he eyes success with Argentina.

Argentina will open next year's tournament against Chile at El Monumental on June 12, it was revealed on Tuesday.

Scaloni hopes 32-year-old Messi, who will again be aiming to win his first senior international trophy, plays beyond the 2020 Copa.

"I don't know if it will be the last. Hopefully not," the Argentina coach told reporters.

"But Argentina need the title, more than just him. Hopefully, don't promise anything, but we'll give the maximum to reach the final."

Argentina, who last won the Copa in 1993, will also face Uruguay, Paraguay, Australia and Bolivia in Group A after their opener against Chile.

Scaloni's men beat Chile in the third-place play-off this year, in a game that saw Messi and Gary Medel sent off.

"It's a nice game to start," he said. "Anyone would have been difficult because the debut is always difficult, but this one has a special feeling.

"Chile has always been difficult for Argentina, especially in recent times. Difficult, but we are fine."

Argentina will open the 2020 Copa America with a blockbuster clash against Chile in Buenos Aires.

In a rematch of this year's third-place play-off, which Argentina won as Lionel Messi and Gary Medel were sent off, the teams will meet again at the El Monumental on June 12 next year.

While the draw took place on Tuesday, the nations already knew almost all of their opponents with teams split into zones for next year's tournament in Argentina and Colombia.

However, Australia – playing at their first Copa America – were drawn into Group A, which features Argentina, Bolivia, Uruguay, Chile and Paraguay.

Qatar, the other invited nation, will meet Colombia, Brazil, Venezuela, Ecuador and Peru.

Brazil will go into the tournament as defending champions after their success at home this year.

The top four teams in each group will advance to the quarter-finals.

Group A: Argentina, Australia, Bolivia, Uruguay, Chile, Paraguay.
Group B: Colombia, Brazil, Qatar, Venezuela, Ecuador, Peru.

Alexis Sanchez's recovery from ankle surgery is on track and the Inter forward could return ahead of schedule. 

Sanchez suffered a dislocated ankle and tendon damage while playing for Chile against Colombia in October.

The need to have an operation meant three months on the sidelines, curtailing the early stages of his loan stay at San Siro from Manchester United.

Inter's head of medical services Piero Volpi told La Cuarta he is optimistic about Sanchez's speed of recovery, with the 30-year-old aiming to resume work with a ball in the near future.

"It is a delicate injury, but the recovery is going very well, the deadlines are being met," he said.

"Mid-January [is the return date] but we'll see. Alexis could even come back a little earlier if all goes well.

"He has not yet done work with the ball, but we hope that in the next few days we will have news about it. Everything is going well."

Sanchez scored on his only Serie A start for Inter, a 3-1 win at Sampdoria where he was later sent off, and has made four appearances overall for Antonio Conte's side.

Inter's first game of 2020 is away to Napoli in the league on January 5, while they host Atalanta a week later.

Inter forward Alexis Sanchez has undergone successful surgery on his injured left ankle, the Serie A club have confirmed.

Sanchez was substituted late in Chile's friendly win over Colombia on Saturday, with a dislocated joint causing damage to his peroneus longus tendon.

The 30-year-old travelled to Barcelona on Wednesday for a consultation with professor Ramon Cugat and it was decided the issue should be operated on.

A statement on Inter's official website read: "The visit [with Cugat] confirmed the diagnosis of the Inter medical staff and the decision was made to proceed with surgery on the left ankle.

"The operation was performed in the afternoon on the peroneus longus tendon and it went exactly as planned."

Sanchez, who joined Inter on a season-long loan from Manchester United in August, is expected to miss three months of action.

The ex-Arsenal star has made four appearances for Antonio Conte's side this term, scoring one goal in Serie A, though he was sent off later in the same match against Sampdoria.

Arturo Vidal was in no mood to paper over the cracks after Chile secured a 3-2 friendly victory over Guinea. 

The Barcelona midfielder scored from the spot as Chile came from behind to triumph at Estadio Jose Rico Perez in Spain on Tuesday.

It was Chile's first win in normal time since June, but the performance left a lot to be desired and Vidal conceded there was plenty of room for improvement. 

"The important thing was that we won," he said, with Reinaldo Rueda's side having been held to goalless draw by Colombia at the weekend. "We scored three goals and that has not happened for a long time. 

"The desire and work are there, we have to wait a little longer and keep improving, we can give more. If we give everything in each game, we can reach our goals.

"We gave them the first chance and they scored with it. We had to go looking and we managed to score three goals. We have to improve, clearly.

"There are very few players left from the last 10 years, there are new players that need to be supported. In the future this team can achieve a lot."

Jean Meneses and Felipe Mora were both on target, opening their accounts at international level. 

Alexis Sanchez may require surgery after suffering an ankle tendon injury while on international duty with Chile, Inter have confirmed.

Chile coach Reinaldo Rueda had suggested Sanchez – who is on loan at Inter from Manchester United – could be set to miss "two to three months" after suffering an ankle injury in Saturday's friendly with Colombia.

The forward had further tests upon his return to Milan, with the results of those examinations confirming Sanchez has dislocated his ankle.

"Sanchez underwent medical tests earlier this morning at the Humanitas Institute in Rozzano," read a statement from Inter. 

"Results revealed a joint dislocation in his left ankle which has caused damage to the peroneus longus tendon."

Sanchez will now travel to Barcelona for consultations with professor Ramon Cugat, who has often treated injured Manchester City players, including Benjamin Mendy and Kevin De Bruyne, to determine whether an operation will be required.

Former Arsenal star Sanchez has made four appearances for Antonio Conte's side this term, scoring one goal in Serie A, though he was sent off later in that match against Sampdoria.

Alexis Sanchez could be sidelined for "two to three" months after sustaining a potentially serious ankle injury, according to Chile coach Reinaldo Rueda.

Sanchez was substituted late in Chile's goalless friendly draw with Colombia on Saturday after suffering what the Football Federation of Chile described as a "dislocation of left ankle peroneal tendons".

The forward, who is on loan at Inter from Manchester United, will undergo further tests in Milan, with Rueda suggesting he could be out of action for the foreseeable future if surgery is required.

"If the club operates, we could be without him for two to three months," he told a media conference. "It is a pity. He had been regaining form for his club and played in the Champions League.

"Now we have to wait for these crucial hours to know what decision the club will take."

Sanchez has scored one Serie A goal since leaving United for Inter, his sole strike coming in a win away to Sampdoria, during which he was sent off.

Alexis Sanchez will leave international duty to have an assessment on a potentially serious ankle injury, the Football Federation of Chile (ANFP) has confirmed.

Sanchez was substituted late in Chile's goalless draw with Colombia in an international friendly on Saturday.

The forward, who is on loan at Inter from Manchester United, will travel back to Milan for tests on an injury that may require surgery.

Sanchez has suffered a "dislocation of left ankle peroneal tendons", according to the ANFP, and will miss Tuesday's game against Guinea.

"Tests with magnetic resonance imaging and dynamic echotomography will be carried out to make the best therapeutic decision," said an ANFP statement.

Sanchez has scored one Serie A goal since leaving United for Inter, his sole strike coming in a win away to Sampdoria, during which he was sent off.

The 30-year-old may be a doubt for an upcoming Champions League double-header against Borussia Dortmund.

Inter host the Bundesliga side on October 23 then travel to Dortmund for the reverse fixture in Group F two weeks later.

Colombia and Chile drew 0-0 in a boisterous friendly that saw heavy challenges flying between the South American rivals.

The result in Alicante mirrored the scoreline after 90 minutes of June's Copa America quarter-final, which Chile went on to win 5-4 on penalties, and it was clear neither side wanted to lose face in front of a lively crowd at Estadio Jose Rico Perez.

In the absence of James Rodriguez and Radamel Falcao, Colombia started with Duvan Zapata up front alongside Luis Muriel and Roger Martinez and looked the more dangerous side throughout.

Juan Cuadrado's 40-yard spring almost produced an early goal but he fired into the legs of Claudio Bravo after 16 minutes.

Colombia dominated the first half but Chile countered dangerously, with Arturo Vidal and Alexis Sanchez combining for a sweeping move that Barcelona man Vidal failed to finish off.

Cuadrado went down clutching his ankle after a scything challenge from Erick Pulgar in the box shortly after half-time but had his claims for a penalty dismissed by the referee.

A member of Carlos Queiroz's coaching staff was shown a red card after tempers spilled over on the Colombia bench, and four yellow cards were shown as the second half turned into a scrap.

One moment of quality from Colombia saw substitute Jefferson Lerma presented with a clear shooting chance from the edge of the box eight minutes from time, but his attempt was at a comfortable height for Bravo, who saved to ensure the scoresheet remained blank at the final whistle.

Giovani Lo Celso eased fears over his fitness following a pair of injury scares in Argentina's friendly against Chile in Los Angeles.

Tottenham loanee Lo Celso lasted until the 53rd minute of the bruising 0-0 draw, during which 10 yellow cards were handed out.

The 23-year-old was left beating the turf in anguish when Charles Aranguiz caught him above the foot with a crude studs-up tackle in the first half.

Referee Jair Marrufo opted against sanctioning the Chile midfielder for a second time, having booked him in the seventh minute.

The Argentine Football Association later suggested Lo Celso had suffered a groin problem, but the former Paris Saint-Germain midfielder provided a positive update after the match.

"It was only a blow, nothing to worry about," he said.

Lo Celso almost made the breakthrough for Argentina when he volleyed marginally wide of Claudio Bravo's goal shortly before the interval.

Inter forward Lautaro Martinez also threatened regularly but the sides could not be separated.

"We deserved a bit more. We had a lot of chances to score but it wasn't to be," Lo Celso added.

"We had a good game, generally speaking. The first half was where we had the most chances. We created some good opportunities with a lot of people in attack.

"We were up against a very tough opponent and we were up to their level."

Lionel Scaloni selected a youthful squad for the Albiceleste's first outing since the Copa America and felt the less-experienced players adapted well to the international arena.

"We wanted to give the younger players minutes," the Argentina boss said.

"With the game in progress, they usually enter much calmer. That was the idea. It makes me happy that the new players didn't notice the weight of the shirt.

"We always want to win but the important thing was the performance, which was good at times."

Argentina and Chile played out an entertaining 0-0 draw in a friendly in Los Angeles on Thursday.

In a rematch of the Copa America third-place play-off, which Argentina won, neither team was able to find a breakthrough at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

Both sides were understrength and had their chances in an encounter played in front of a small crowd but with plenty of feeling.

Paulo Dybala and Lautaro Martinez squandered Argentina's best opportunities and Lucas Martinez hit the crossbar, while Cesar Pinares went closest to a breakthrough for Chile.

As the tackles flew in early – Leandro Paredes and Charles Aranguiz were booked in the opening seven minutes – Dybala fired just wide from distance in the 11th minute.

Argentina looked the more likely to open the scoring throughout the first half, going close again in the 23rd minute.

A beautiful team move saw Giovani Lo Celso play a pass into Lautaro Martinez, who teed up Dybala, but the attacker's shot from just inside the area was pushed away by Chile goalkeeper Claudio Bravo.

Aranguiz was lucky not to be sent off for Chile moments later, while Lautaro Martinez headed a corner over with 10 minutes remaining in the first half.

Chile had their best chance of the half through Aranguiz, who forced Agustin Marchesin into a diving save, while Lo Celso volleyed wide for Argentina before the break.

Pinares should have put Chile ahead on the hour-mark, only to drill an effort against the crossbar after an Eduardo Vargas cutback.

The chances continued to come and Lautaro Martinez drew a straightforward save from Bravo in the 69th minute after a brilliant flicked pass from Lucas Alario.

Substitutions disrupted the rhythm of the game, but Lucas Martinez almost scored a winner for Argentina in the 85th minute, his header clattering off the crossbar.

 

What does it mean? Argentina show decent signs without stars

Without the likes of Lionel Messi, Sergio Aguero and Angel Di Maria, Argentina showed some good signs, particularly in the first half. While also facing an understrength Chile, Argentina looked dangerous and should have led during the opening 45 minutes.

Lautaro Martinez continues to impress

Lautaro Martinez impressed during the Copa America and the Inter forward again looked good against Chile. Most of Argentina's best moments came through the 22-year-old, who could have scored in either half and also set up Dybala for a great opportunity.

Aranguiz can count himself lucky

Booked in the seventh minute, Aranguiz was lucky not to be sent off midway through the first half. The midfielder put in a poor studs-up challenge on Lo Celso that only led to a stern word from the referee, when a second yellow card probably should have followed.

What's next?

Argentina head to San Antonio for a friendly with Mexico on Tuesday, while Chile face Honduras in San Pedro Sula.

CONMEBOL responded to allegations of corruption as they labelled Lionel Messi's comments "unacceptable" and "unfounded" at the Copa America.

Argentina defeated Chile 2-1 in the third-place play-off on Saturday, but Messi railed against "corruption" and "a lack of respect" following his red card against the two-time reigning champions.

Messi – who was controversially dismissed in the first half after an altercation with Gary Medel – vented his frustration post-match, having criticised the officiating following Argentina's semi-final loss to hosts Brazil.

The Argentina captain's allegations angered the South American football governing body, which hit back in a statement.

"In football sometimes you win and sometimes you lose and accepting the outcome of a match with loyalty and respect is a fundamental pillar of fair play. Same goes to the refereeing decisions, that are human and will never be perfect," the statement read.

"It's unacceptable that because of incidents proper to the competitions, where 12 Nations competed in, all in equal condition, there have been unfounded accusations that misrepresent the truth and put to judgement the integrity of Copa America.

"Said accusations represent a lack of respect for the competition, all the football players involved and the hundreds of professionals of CONMEBOL, institution that since 2016 has been tirelessly working to transparent, professionalize and develop South American football."

Messi was dismissed when Chile's Medel reacted angrily to a challenge and repeatedly bumped into the Barcelona star with his chest.

Neither Medel nor Messi raised their hands and the Chile man was the clear aggressor in the incident as both players saw red.

There was a VAR check but referee Mario Diaz de Vivar did not look back at the footage on the pitch-side monitor.

When asked why he was not on the pitch for the medal ceremony, Messi told reporters: "Because we don't have to be part of this corruption, this lack of respect towards the whole Copa."

Messi added: "I always tell the truth. That leaves me calm. Then, if what I say has repercussions, it is not to do with me as I am always sincere."

Lionel Messi's red card in Argentina's 2-1 win over Chile at the Copa America bemused head coach Lionel Scaloni, who defended the country's captain.

Argentina ended their Copa America campaign with a bronze medal after overcoming Chile in Saturday's third-place play-off, however, the result was overshadowed by Messi's controversial dismissal.

Messi and Gary Medel both saw red in the first half after the Chile midfielder reacted angrily to a challenge and repeatedly bumped into the five-time Ballon d'Or winner with his chest.

Afterwards, Messi railed against "corruption" and "a lack of respect" following his decision to snub the medal ceremony at Arena Corinthians, having been critical of the officiating in the aftermath of Argentina's semi-final loss to hosts Brazil.

Asked about Messi's red card, Scaloni told reporters: "I have seen the video and so far, I do not understand what he did to have been expelled.

"It would be interesting if the referee came out to public to speak exactly what he saw and also the men of the VAR.

"Obviously, he made a very quick decision, very strange, and worst of all is that the VAR does not correct, because for this there is the VAR. The VAR is here to help, and today it did not help."

Scaloni added: "We have already seen a few times expulsions in which the referee returns in the decision and shows the yellow card. This is what should have happened in this case.

"If you look well, Messi did nothing. Well, they did not go back on the decision, they did not review it. I think the criterion is very strange. The other day Uruguay, I think it was by the nail of the foot, by the finger of Cavani pointed offside. They reviewed the video 55 times to try to justify, and with our team, everything that is against, is not reviewed.

"Not a good feeling, honestly. I do not want to think badly, but the feeling does not convince me. It does not convince our team, nor the Chileans, that we play today, Uruguay... There were many teams that had a bad feeling about this matter, and we were the most harmed because today we would be speaking in another situation."

Lionel Messi claimed Argentina were superior to Brazil and deserved to be in the Copa America final as the superstar insisted "football was not fair" to La Albiceleste.

Messi was controversially sent off in the first half as Argentina defeated Chile 2-1 in Saturday's third-place play-off at Arena Corinthians.

Argentina, who lost 2-0 to hosts Brazil in the semi-final, received the bronze medal but Messi did not appear with his team-mates during the presentation as the captain railed against "corruption" and "a lack of respect".

Messi continued to be vocal post-match, however, the five-time Ballon d'Or winner believes the future is bright for Argentina.

"We leave this Cup with a triumph but above all with our heads up and with the feeling that this time football was not fair with us," Messi said in an Instagram post.

"For what we played and because we were superior to Brazil, we deserved to be in the final tomorrow.

"But we have to look forward and with optimism because there is a future and a very large base in this team and we just have to give time."

Messi was dismissed when Chile's Gary Medel reacted angrily to a challenge and repeatedly bumped into the Barcelona star with his chest.

Neither Medel nor Messi raised their hands and the Chile man was the clear aggressor in the incident as both players saw red.

There was a VAR check but referee Mario Diaz de Vivar did not look back at the footage on the pitch-side monitor.

Messi blasted the officiating at the Copa America after Argentina were eliminated by Brazil in the final four in a match in which Lionel Scaloni's side had two penalty appeals that went unchecked by VAR.

He suggested the red card had been punishment for those comments, saying: "With a yellow card it would have been over for both of us, but, well, maybe I'm paying for what I said last time."

With Brazil set to face Peru in Sunday's decider, Messi added: "Hopefully, the referees and VAR won't influence it and they'll let Peru compete, but that looks difficult to me."

Messi said: "I always tell the truth. That leaves me calm. Then, if what I say has repercussions, it is not to do with me as I am always sincere."

Lionel Messi railed against "corruption" and "a lack of respect" at the Copa America following Argentina's win over Chile in the bronze medal match.

Messi was sent off, along with Gary Medel, after an altercation in the first half of a tempestuous meeting at Arena Corinthians.

After the match, which Argentina won 2-1 thanks to first-half goals from Sergio Aguero and Paulo Dybala before Arturo Vidal scored a penalty, Messi did not appear with his team-mates to collect his medal.

When asked why he was not on the pitch for the ceremony, he told reporters: "Because we don't have to be part of this corruption, this lack of respect towards the whole Copa."

Messi was dismissed when Medel reacted angrily to a challenge and repeatedly bumped into the Barcelona star with his chest. Neither Medel nor Messi raised their hands and the Chile man was the clear aggressor in the incident.

There was a VAR check but referee Mario Diaz de Vivar did not look back at the footage on the pitch-side monitor.

Messi blasted the officiating at the tournament after Argentina lost to hosts Brazil in the semi-finals in a match in which Lionel Scaloni's side had two penalty appeals that went unchecked by VAR.

He suggested the red card had been punishment for those comments, saying: "With a yellow card it would have been over for both of us, but, well, maybe I'm paying for what I said last time.

"The important thing is that the team finished the tournament well. We do not have get caught up in the lack of respect that happened here.

"I leave calmly, with my head high and proud of this group, who gave everything. I hope that this group is respected – it has a lot to give.

"The group showed a lot of personality. It's not easy to start with a defeat [against Colombia] and then drawing [against Paraguay] – that made us stronger and we finished in a very positive way.

"They could have reviewed the sending off, but VAR was not used."

Looking ahead to the final between the Tite's men and Peru, Messi said: "Hopefully, the referees and VAR won't influence it and they'll let Peru compete, but that looks difficult to me."

He added: "I always tell the truth. That leaves me calm. Then, if what I say has repercussions, it is not to do with me as I am always sincere."

Page 1 of 3
© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.