No other player at Copa América 2015 at Messi’s level, says Tabárez

Uruguay coach Óscar Tabárez believes no other player going to Copa América 2015 can match the ability of Argentina‘s Lionel Messi.

The Barcelona man has scored 56 goals in 54 appearances in all competitions this season as the Catalan giants chase a treble with the Liga title already in the bag.

Messi’s return to his finest form comes at the perfect time for la Albiceleste with the Copa América set to begin next month.

They have been drawn alongside Uruguay in Group B, and la Celeste’s coach believes the quality of the diminutive forward will be unmatched in Chile.

“[Argentina] is a very powerful team, for me with the most potential of all who are there, because of the great players and experience that they have,” Tabárez said to Ovación Digital.

“They were World Cup finalists and have Messi, a player that has a greater value than the team. He is one of the players that makes up football history with his great individual conditions placed in a team role, and his conversion of goals.

“No other player going to the Copa América is at his level.”

The Uruguayan did admit that Brazil, Colombia and Chile could also challenge Argentina for the trophy in this year’s competition, though he did not rule out his team providing another “surprise”.

“Generally, the favourites are based on historical facts, the potential of each team and the recent past,” he said. “Argentina and Brazil are always there, Colombia due to what they’ve done lately and Chile as hosts.

“Foreign media said that Uruguay was not a candidate to win in 2011, and yet it happened. It sometimes happens in the World Cup – there is always a surprsie


“And in the Copa América I think there have been 43 editions, 37 of which have been won by three countries. That should have some value too.”

La Celeste will also face Jamaica and Paraguay as part of their Group B fixtures, and the 68-year-old offered his thoughts those opponents.

“[Jamaica] is the team that we have the least information on. We have collected some historical background and watched the game with Venezuela,” he added.

“They are a physically very strong team, with plenty of speed and a German coach. They have everything to gain and little to lose.

“We are going to be careful not to go with the mindset that we will face the weakest team of the group, because that could cause complacence and as it is the first game we should aspire to win it and take an important step to qualification.

“Five years ago one would speak of Paraguay and there was enormous potential. They qualified for four consecutive World Cups.

“As they will be our last opponent, we will have more fresh information on Paraguay when we face them.”


Share article

Latest articles