Argentina coach Alejandro Sabella admits they need a fit Lionel Messi to make a mark in next year's World Cup.

The Barcelona star was missing for this week's friendly win in Italy.

"When a team is used to playing with Messi, you can see the difference when he is not there," Sabella commented to reporters after Argentina's win.

"Messi is irreplaceable, but the character and desire we showed really pleased me."

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