Lionel Messi will not play in Argentina’s friendly against Spain on Tuesday after failing to recover from a minor muscle problem, according to reports.
The Barcelona superstar had previously insisted he wanted to play against Spain after being ruled out against Italy with an abductor muscle strained when speaking to Fox Sport, he said: “My idea is to play against Spain.
“I was left with the choice to play against Italy and didn’t, but I trained normally, I felt good, so I hope to play.”
Will Lionel Messi feature for Argentina tonight?
Mundo Deportivo have reported that Messi was not 100% after a training session on Monday and decided not to risk aggravating the problem.
Sky Sports Spanish reporter, Guillem Balague tweeted: “Messi will not play tonight either, no serious injury we are being told. It is just precaution.”
Messi will not play tonight either. No serious injury we are being told. It is just precaution https://t.co/PtVEq4OXeb
— Guillem Balague (@GuillemBalague) March 27, 2018
Argentine Football Association [AFA] chief Claudio Tapia said Messi should not play if there was any risk of further damage to his hamstring.
“If he doesn’t feel 100 percent, we should not risk it,” he told TyC Sport.
“We have a common aim, which is [the World Cup in] Russia. Why risk it? It’s unnecessary. If he is not right, it’s not convenient for him to play.”
It is understandable the Argentine wouldn’t be risked – given that Messi is still competing on three fronts with Barcelona.
The Catalan giants are currently 11 points clear at the top of La Liga, through to the Copa del Rey final against Sevilla and face Roma in the Champions League quarter-final.