Argentina striker, Lionel Messi has confessed that he fears about contracting COVID-19 while on international duty for the Copa America amid increasing cases of infections among rival teams.
Players and officials from Bolivia, Colombia and Venezuela tested positive for Covid-19 virus even before the tournament kicked off with Brazil’s 3-0 victory over depleted Venezuela in Brasilia.
Messi said the fear of contracting the virus was widespread in the squad.
“It worries us because it is a risk for everyone catching Covid,” he said. "We try to be careful but it’s not easy. These things happen.
“We’ll try to do all we can so no one gets it but sometimes it doesn’t depend solely on ourselves.”
According to reports, Messi is not believed to have been vaccinated.
Brazil won the tournament two years ago, beating Argentina in the semi-final in a controversial match, and Messi said he was desperate to finally replicate his club success at the international level.
“I think this is the time to strike a blow and the chance could come in this Copa America,” said the Barcelona forward and six-time winner of the Ballon d’Or for best player in the world.
“My big dream is to win a title with the national team. I was very close on many occasions and unfortunately, it didn’t work out. I will keep going until I can’t anymore.”
“I’ve been lucky enough to win everything at a club level and on an individual level and it would be beautiful to win with the national team as well.”