Scaloni: Only disappointment with Argentine national team was Messi's absence

Buenos Aires, Nov 20 (efe-epa).- Lionel Scaloni, who is wrapping up his stint coaching the Argentine national soccer team this week, said his only disappointment with the squad was not being able to work with superstar Leo Messi.

"Obviously, I would've liked to coach Messi. Like anyone else who's here," the coach said in a press conference in the city of Mendoza on Monday.

Argentina will play Mexico on Tuesday in Mendoza in the second of two friendlies.

Last Friday, Argentina beat the Mexican national team 2-0.

Scaloni was hired on an interim basis to replace Jorge Sampaoli in September and his contract expires following Tuesday's friendly.

When asked if he felt there was anything left to do with the team, Scaloni did not hesitate in answering.

"I don't think there's anything left to do, obviously coaching Leo, just that," Scaloni said, referring to the Barcelona star, who has not played for Argentina since the World Cup in Russia.

Much of the press conference focused on Scaloni's future with the national team, especially since Argentine Soccer Association (AFA) president Claudio Tapia praised him in an interview.

Although the coach said Tapia appeared pleased with what he and his staff accomplished, he said that they had not spoken about the future.

Scaloni said Gabriel Mercado; Geronimo Rulli; Walter Kannemann; Ramiro Funes Mori; Marcos Acuña; Santiago Ascacibar; Maximiliano Meza; Erik Lamela; Roberto Pereyra; Rodrigo De Paul; and Mauro Icardi would start against Mexico.