Argentina rest Lionel Messi for 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers

Paris Saint-Germain star Lionel Messi, who recently recovered from a Covid-19 infection, was left out of Argentina’s squad for the World Cup qualifiers against Chile and Colombia on Wednesday, the two former winners having already qualified for Qatar 2022. Argentina will face Chile in Santiago on January 27 and Colombia at home on February 1, with both opponents still in contention to qualify for the tournament. Messi contracted the virus while on vacation in his hometown of Rosario in Argentina in December. On January 5, PSG announced that Messi, who joined them from Barcelona last year, had returned to France after testing negative.

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This week, the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner and Argentina captain was back in full training for the French club.

He missed the Coupe de France game against Vannes and two league matches, the 1-1 draw with Lyon and last Saturday’s 2-0 loss to Brest.

In all, Messi has missed 10 league games since joining PSG in August, and will make his first appearance of 2022 against Reims on Sunday.

Messi is the only one of his Argentinian PSG team-mates not to be called up for the qualifiers, with winger Angel Di Maria and midfielder Leandro Paredes among coach Lionel Scaloni’s announced squad.

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There have been few changes to the 27-person squad, with Tottenham’s Christian Romero injured, and just two players from the Argentine club, both from River Plate: veteran goalkeeper Franco Armani and striker Julian Alvarez, who has was voted South American Footballer of the Year. in 2021.

Team:

Goalkeepers: Franco Armani (River Plate), Emiliano Martinez (Aston Villa / ENG), Juan Musso (Atalanta / ITA), Esteban Andrada (Monterrey / MEX)

Defenders: Nahuel Molina (Udinese/ITA), Gonzalo Montiel (Sevilla/ESP), German Pezzella (Real Betis/ESP), Nicolas Otamendi (Benfica/POR), Lisandro Martinez (Ajax/NED), Lucas Martinez Quarta (Fiorentina/ITA ), Nicolas Tagliafico (Ajax / NED), Marcos Acuna (Sevilla / ESP)

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