Tapia also said Argentina are planning to play a friendly against Catalonia in June as part of their preparations for the World Cup in Russia, where they will hope to better their runners-up finish four years ago in Brazil. A game against Catalonia could theoretically see Messi come up against Barca team mates Sergio Busquets, Sergi Roberto and Gerard Pique among others. However, such a fixture could prove controversial in Spain after increased tensions between the central government and the region over its independence drive. "(Argentina coach) Jorge (Sampaoli) told me it would be good for us from a football point of view and it's important for us from a financial point of view, but we haven't closed the deal yet," added Tapia.
AFA president Tapia: "I spoke with Messi for him to play less at Barcelona. To be careful, to play a little less."February 13, 2018
Worth noting Argentina coach Jorge Sampaoli also spoke with Messi in the past about him playing less this season in order to get to World Cup in ultimate shape. pic.twitter.com/5vheeIgvc5
“Sampaoli: is lucky. If Messi is inspired, he will cover up all his mistakes. If Messi is on his game, there is a 60% chance that @Argentina win the World Cup. Because the others can be a choir, but none are not as good a singer a he is. Messi is a singer, the rest aren’t.”— Juan G. Arango (@JuanG_Arango) February 11, 2018