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Messi out of Argentina friendlies

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Lionel Messi has been ruled out of Argentina’s forthcoming friendlies in the United States over a hamstring injury, the Argentina Football Association hinted on Monday.

The eight-time Ballon d’Or winner 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, Messi has not recovered after tweaking a hamstring during Miami’s 3-1 victory over Nashville in the CONCACAF Champions Cup last week.

The Argentine captain, 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 Argentine federation said in a post on X, formerly Twitter, “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.”

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

Martino said, “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.”

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