Messi is back in the Argentina squad for the first time since the World Cup, but Menotti cast doubt on whether the Barcelona forward, in red-hot form this season, would make his return during the global break despite head coach Lionel Scaloni's insistence he would win his 129th cap.
"It scares me that Messi plays".
The Barcelona forward played the full 90 minutes on Friday night, but the Argentine federation confirmed after the game he will leave the squad as they prepare for their clash with the African side next week.
"When we chose to bring him back, he knew it was a big change", Scaloni said about Messi.
"I see him with important emotional fatigue between the Champions League and the national team". I see him very exhausted.More news: At least 47 killed in blast at Chinese chemical plant
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The former West Ham loanee took over as Argentina boss after their disappointing World Cup campaign, but is only contracted until June.
"We've played different systems and we're going to do it in the same way, added to his great quality", Scaloni added.
However, there is no guarantee that the Mini-Messi would end up being as good as the real one - because of environmental and educational impacts as well as experience.
"But we need the rest, who are all top players and key figures at their clubs, to give us that bit extra to try and be a great team".
"Messi isn't who he is only because of his genes, but because of everything he has lived through, his education, his stay in La Masia, the treatment he received".