Lionel Messi has called on his Argentine teammates to bounce back after the nation’s loss in their opening match of the 2019 Copa America.

Despite boasting one of the most talented and deepest attacks in world football, with players such as Messi, Angel Di Maria, Sergio Agüero and Paulo Dybala, Argentina failed to score in the opening game, eventually going down 2-0 to Colombia.

Messi believes the team have what it takes to progress from the group, however.

“It’s not the best way to start, but if we keep lamenting and don’t move on, if we don’t pick ourselves up, we won’t be prepared to face Paraguay in the next match,” he said.

“This group is ready for this challenge and will try to succeed. This group is strong and united. We can make it.”

It was the first time Argentina had lost to Colombia in 12 years, while it was also the nation’s first loss in a Copa America opener since a 2-1 defeat to Bolivia in 1979.

Argentina face Paraguay next before taking on Qatar in the final group game.

Three points should see them progress to the quarter-finals as the aim to win their first major trophy in 26 years.

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Damon Palmar
damon@footballnationradio.com