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Lionel Messi ruled out of Argentina’s friendlies in US due to hamstring injury | Football News

Lionel Messi has been officially ruled out of Argentina’s friendly matches against El Salvador and Costa Rica in the United States. The Argentina Football Association (AFA) has released a statement regarding Messi’s hamstring injury which put him out of the two upcoming contests.

Lionel Messi will miss Argentina's two friendlies matches in the US.
Lionel Messi will miss Argentina’s two friendlies matches in the US.

The eight-time Ballon d’Or winner will miss the national team duties against El Salvador in Philadelphia on Friday before facing Costa Rica in Los Angeles on March 26 as both his club Inter Miami and Argentina don’t want to take any risks with him. Both games are warmups for Argentina for the Copa America in June-July, which will also be in the U.S.

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Messi also missed Miami’s recent MLS match against DC United last 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.

The Argentine captain is still recovering from an old hamstring injury which he tweaked during a CONCACAF Champions Cup match last week against Nashville where Inter Miami emerged victorious 3-1, Messi scored a goal and provided an assist to Luis Suarez in a thrilling first half-performance. He was substituted just after half-time in the win over Nashville and missed Miami’s win over D.C. United in Washington on Saturday.

In his absence, former Barcelona striker Luis Suarez took the onus on himself to guide Miami to a win by scoring a brace.

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.

Messi is the latest absence for Lionel Scaloni’s side following injuries to AS Roma forward Paulo Dybala, Bayer Leverkusen midfielder Exequiel Palacios and Bournemouth defender Marcos Senesi.

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