Alejandro Garnacho has stated that rubbing shoulders with Lionel Messi ‘doesn’t seem genuine.
The 18-year-old has been called up to Argentina’s senior squad and is likely to make his senior debut for the world champions during this month’s internationals. In a pair of friendlies, La Albiceleste will face Australia and Indonesia.
Garnacho has had a breakout season at Manchester United, establishing himself as one of the Premier League’s most promising young players.
Garnacho was asked how it felt to be in the squad with a national idol like Messi in Beijing, ahead of their opening match against Australia.
“I haven’t spoken to Messi much. I’ve watched him on TV all my life and now he’s right here, it’s amazing. It doesn’t seem real,” he said.
Garnacho has previously acknowledged that rival Cristiano Ronaldo was his idol, despite his excitement to have the chance to play with Messi.
There have also been rumours that Garnacho would return to Spain, the nation he had represented as a young player. He might participate in these future friendly with Argentina while still legally representing La Roja in competitive play, according to FIFA regulations.
The winger, however, has taken action to put an end to these rumours by reiterating his commitment to Argentina going forward.
“I don’t need to play three games. I’m here and if I don’t make my debut on the tour, it doesn’t matter. I know I want to be with Argentina and it’s going to happen,” Garnacho said.
“I want to make a career with the Argentine national team, if the coach trusts me I can keep coming. I want to be one more and take part in the Copa America, the qualifiers and the World Cup. I know that a lot of people in Argentina love me, appreciate me. I’ve already made the decision to play for Argentina, and I’m going to return that love on the pitch.”