Simeone in Awe of Barcelona`s Messi

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Argentina coach Jorge Sampaoli revealed that he referred to Messi to help inspire his players before the match.

Since joining the Catalan giants from Premier League club Liverpool in 2010, Mascherano has been impressive for the Spanish club.

The Albiceleste entered Tuesday's final round of South American group qualifiers in sixth place, outside the automatic World Cup places, reports Xinhua news agency.

He said: "At Barcelona, they've always said that they're happy with me and I have time to think about it. I will try to fight for my place and to be ready when I'm called upon", he told ESPN.

"I still have a contract at the club but it is clear that maybe, once the season is over, I will see what I can do". I'm not a player that gets angry, especially not with coaches.

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Mascherano's situation is unlikely to change ahead of next season as Barcelona are expected to bolster his position either in January or in the summer with the arrival of Yerry Mina.

With Argentine looking as if they were going to miss out on qualification for the 2018 World Cup, in Russia, Messi hit a stunning hat-trick which had the Atletico Madrid boss, Diego Simeone, purring.

"I am fully committed to the national team".

"We have to prepare in these seven or eight months to arrive in the best form possible, and we'll try to do it".

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