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Legendary manager admits he’s afraid of ‘emotionally fatigued’ Barcelona star playing

Former Argentina manager Cesar Luis Menotti believes Lionel Messi is “emotionally fatigued”.

The Barcelona forward announced that he was taking a step back from the national team after their 4-3 defeat by France in the last 16 of the 2018 World Cup.

Messi didn't represent the Albiceleste for the remainder of the year, but he has now returned for this month’s friendlies against Venezuela and Morocco.

Argentina are preparing for this summer’s Copa America in Brazil, where Messi will attempt to win his first international trophy at senior level.

But Menotti, who won the World Cup as Argentina boss in 1978 and later managed Barcelona for a season in 1983/84, admits that he doesn't think Messi should play in his country’s upcoming matches.

“I'm afraid that Messi plays," Menotti told FM 94.7.

“I see him with important emotional fatigue between the Champions League and the national team. I see him very tired.

"If he wants to play with Argentina, better."

Messi has made 37 appearances in all competitions for Barcelona so far this season, scoring 39 goals.

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