Argentina beat Qatar 2-0 to secure progression in the Copa America. Lionel Messi now wants the team to forget the group stage and refocus.
Lionel Messi is urging Argentina to find another level after securing a spot in the Copa America knockout phase, telling them a new tournament begins now.
Argentina produced an improved performance on Sunday, beating Qatar 2-0 to revive what had been a stuttering campaign.
Defeat would have seen Argentina crash out of the tournament in humiliating fashion, but Lautaro Martinez put them ahead early on and they never looked back.
Sergio Aguero got the clincher, and although it was by no means a vintage display, La Albiceleste got the job done when under pressure.
Messi is now urging his team-mates to forget about the group stage – which included a draw with Paraguay and defeat to Colombia – as they embark on the knockout phase, having been impressed with their attitude against Qatar.
"Now beings another Copa," he told reporters.
"We needed a victory like that to gain confidence, now we have the obligation to win to advance, but we came [into the match] in a different way [to the previous games].
"The attitude was what I liked the most. We knew what we had to do and it's difficult to play those games.
"We created situations and we did not suffer much against an opponent that the rest of the group found complicated."
Argentina will face Venezuela - second in Group A - in the quarter-finals on Friday.