Argentina will have a lot riding in 2024 since they are the current regional and world champions. Another major championship would put them in a better position to defend their other crown in the future.

With each game that Lionel Messi plays, Argentina reaches new heights. That being said, the 36-year-old also adds more trophies to his already famous career.

Having said that, expectations have reached almost unprecedented levels. In the lead-up to the Copa America, each game this year carries the weight of the squad’s past trophies.

Argentina approaches 2024 with a lot to gain and a lot to lose. Especially, since their head coaching situation is unknown due to worries over Lionel Scaloni’s future.

Two friendlies await in March when Argentina goes to China

Lionel Messi will be competing in the 2024 Copa America this summer in the USA for the CONMEBOL championship. The team’s goal is to defend its title.

They will play their playoff qualifier to secure a spot in Group A. However, their first-round match opponent is still up in the air. Canada and Trinidad and Tobago have to face each other.

Argentina is also faced with the ongoing challenge of qualifying for the 2026 World Cup. They now hold the top spot in the rankings, although they are facing challenges from a revitalized Uruguay and Colombia.

Up until this point, the Argentine FA has been silent on the subject of confirmed friendly fixtures. In March and June, Messi and his teammates will play two international friendlies to be ready for the competition.

Smart idea or a profit stunt?

Some news outlets have reported that in two months, Scaloni’s squad will go to China to play a European side and the China national team.

Two friendly matches featuring Argentina are going to take place in March. In the next FIFA international window, they will face off against China and another European team, says Gaston Edul of TyC Sports.

The dates would fall inside the FIFA window, which begins on March 18 and ends on March 26. The reigning World Cup winners, per Forbes, have agreed to play one of the clashes in Beijing and the other in Hangzhou. The two cities are over 1,300km apart.

Rumor has it that the first exhibition match would pit the squad against a European side—albeit a lower-tier European squad. Hungary, the Czech Republic, Croatia, and Turkey are all potential opponents.

While negotiating with the Chinese, La Albiceleste was unable to secure Uruguay’s participation in one of the friendly matches. But many supporters of the nation are unhappy because the upcoming Asian games in the middle of March are just a ‘money-making stunt.’

A few short months from then, they will be back in the US trying to defend their Copa America crown. The supporters think that if they played tougher opponents and traveled less, they would be better prepared for the event.

This was Argentina’s precise strategy when they traveled to Asia last year to face Indonesia in Jakarta and Australia in China. The organization earned $6 million from the trip. Nevertheless, it is a substantial sum but pales in comparison to the $42 million they received as a prize for winning the 2022 World Cup.