According to Argentina head coach Lionel Scaloni, the absence of Lionel Messi has forced La Albiceleste to work more cohesively as a unit. 


Messi, once again, wasn't available for selection as Argentina cruised past Iraq 4-0 on Thursday in their first game of a four-nation tournament which also features Brazil and Saudi Arabia. 


Scaloni fielded quite an adventurous starting eleven against Iraq, and thankfully, it worked even better than expected. Lautaro Martinez scored his first goal for Argentina on his full debut, while Roberto Pereyra, German Pezzella, and Franco Cervi were also on the scoresheet. 



With Messi's future up in the air, Scaloni wants his side to prepare for life without the Barcelona ace but hopes to see him back to the international fold. 


"I hope Messi is in the future, he is the best player in the world," Scaloni said during his post-match news conference, as quoted by ​FourFourTwo.


"If he is not, we should try to play as a team, that is the idea, that we play as a team and we are difficult to beat."


Scaloni, himself, is acting as an interim manager following Jorge Sampaoli's departure and is still not sure what the future holds. 



"I am [in charge] now until November and then I am not," Scaloni added.


"I hope these players can continue playing in the national team. I hope whoever comes, if he wants, can add these men with the other great players. The idea is that many of these guys, why not all, continue in the national team," he concluded.