Lionel Messi has declared that “another Copa begins now” for Argentina after seeing them scrape their way into the quarter-finals.
An opening defeat to Colombia and disappointing draw with Paraguay had left the Albiceleste sweating on progress to the knockout stage.
They were, however, to complete their Group B campaign with a welcome 2-0 victory over Qatar.
That was enough to secure second spot behind Colombia, with Lautaro Martinez and Sergio Aguero grabbing priceless goals for Lionel Scaloni’s side.
Much improvement is still required in order for Argentina to challenge for the overall prize in Brazil, but they have at least given themselves a chance.
Messi is looking to take positives from that, with the Barcelona superstar now preparing for a last-eight encounter with Venezuela on Sunday.
He told reporters after seeing off Qatar:
“The important thing was to win to keep going in the Copa, to get through the group stage.
“This will be an important boost for what’s to come … another Copa begins now.
“This victory must give us strength and make us grow as a team.”
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