Messi out of Argentina friendlies: Football federation

AFP , Tuesday 19 Mar 2024

Lionel Messi has been ruled out of Argentina's upcoming friendlies in the United States due to a hamstring injury, the Argentina Football Association confirmed on Monday.

Lionel Messi
File Photo: Inter Miami s Argentine forward #10 Lionel Messi sits on the pitch during the MLS football match between Inter Miami and Real Salt Lake at Chase Stadium in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, February 21, 2024. AFP

The Inter Miami superstar was due to line up for the world champions in friendlies against El Salvador in Philadelphia on Friday before facing Costa Rica in Los Angeles on March 26.

However, the 36-year-old Argentine captain has not recovered after tweaking a hamstring during Miami's 3-1 victory over Nashville in the CONCACAF Champions Cup last week.

Messi, who was substituted just after half-time in the win over Nashville, missed Miami's win over D.C. United in Washington on Saturday.

"The captain of Argentina, Lionel Messi, will not be able to be in the squad for the friendlies in USA due to a minor injury to the hamstring of his right leg suffered in his team's match against Nashville SC," the Argentine federation said in a post on X, formerly Twitter.

Miami coach Gerardo Martino had hinted after his team's win over Washington on Saturday that Messi might miss the March internationals, saying the team wanted to ensure he was fit for next month's CONCACAF Champions Cup quarter-finals.

"It is clear that with him there is an objective that he can play in the quarter-finals of the CONCACAF Champions Cup. We're not going to take any risks," Martino said.

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