14 October 2014 17:53
Lionel Messi has set his sights on sealing Copa America success with Argentina after they thrashed Hong Kong 7-0 on Tuesday.
The Argentina captain made a half-hour cameo at the Hong Kong Stadium, but still managed to score two and set up another.
Gonzalo Higuain and Nico Gaitan also managed to bag a brace apiece, while Ever Banega opened the scoring for the visitors.
Gerardo Martino, Messi’s former coach at Barcelona, took the reins from Alejandro Sabella after Argentina’s run to the World Cup final this year.
And with progress being made under the 51-year-old, Messi is hopeful Argentina can seal continental success for the first time since 1993 in Chile next year.
“In every game we have to play well and win,” he is quoted as saying by the Argentinian Football Association’s website.
“We always care about the results, but what we want now is to learn quickly what Tata [Martino] wants from us.
“We’re happy with this result, regardless of who the opponent might be.
“We’re preparing to win the Copa America, which Argentina have not won for so long.
“Tata has his own ideas, as all coaches do. We are still adapting to the demands of a new coach.”
In what appears to be a continuing trend in high-profile matches, a fan managed to make his way onto the pitch during Tuesday’s game and asked Messi to sign the Argentina shirt he was wearing.
The star striker was happy to take the approach as a compliment.
He explained: “I always appreciate the love of people anywhere in the world.”