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Lionel Messi asked Koeman to only use him in second-half for Barcelona vs Betis with ankle trouble a concern for Argentina

According to TyC Sports, Lionel Messi is still suffering from some discomfort in his ankle as Argentina prepare for two World Cup Qualifiers during the international break.

TyC Sports actually report that Messi asked Barcelona boss Ronald Koeman to only call on him for the second-half of the match against Real Betis, so he could arrive for duty in the best condition.

Lionel Scaloni intends to start Messi in the first of the upcoming qualifiers, which is against Paraguay on Friday morning (GMT time), with the boss wanting to field the same lineup as last month.

It didn’t matter that Messi only featured for 45 minutes on the weekend, as the six-time Ballon d’Or winner took control of the tie with a penalty and his first open-play goal of the season, as well as a dummy that led to a goal for Antoine Griezmann.

TyC add that Messi will continue to be assessed over the coming days, the 33-year-old did train as normal yesterday which has to be taken as an encouraging sign.

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