The Barcelona star and Juventus forward have struggled playing alongside each other in the past, but their manager has backed them to improve

Argentina head coach Lionel Scaloni insists Lionel Messi and Paulo Dybala can play alongside each other to good effect for Argentina.

Messi has not played for Argentina since their last-16 elimination at the 2018 World Cup, however, the five-time Ballon d’Or winner will end his nine-month absence against Venezuela on Friday.

The 31-year-old superstar has enjoyed another stellar season for Barcelona, so much so that his 33rd La Liga hat-trick against Celta Vigo last week earned a standing ovation from the opposition supporters.

He now looks set to bring his club form onto the international stage with the 31-year-old set to start at Atletico Madrid’s Wanda Metropolitano.

Juventus star Dybala is also in the squad but he will not start, though Scaloni insisted the pair can play together, despite their previous struggles.

Dybala has 18 caps to his name while Messi has played for Argentina 128 times during his career, and they will looking to add to those tallies at this summer’s Copa America.

“I’ve already said yes, they [Dybala and Messi] are both compatibles but we have to work it out, I’m sure we can make it within some time,” Scaloni said.

“I think now is not the moment yet, it’s logical, we didn’t have much time to prepare so it’s logical that they can be compatibles but with time I think we can make it.”

Scaloni also lauded Messi as Argentina look to step up their preparations ahead of the Copa America, which gets underway in June.

The 40-year-old said believes there are no more words to describe Messi following on from his latest form for Barcelona.

“I said this before. Even he must be tired of this. There are no more adjectives to describe him,” Scaloni added.

“We only want all of his team-mates to know that they are great players too and it’s also for them to make a step forward, not just Messi.

“The rest must make that step forward. They are great players too and we are a great team if we all play our part.”

Argentina open their Copa America campaign against Colombia on June 15 in Salvador. 

They then face group matches against Paraguay and Qatar before thinking about potential quarter-final opponents.

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