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Messi injured to skip Argentina's friendly against Russia
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Lionel Messi displeased his national coach Diego Maradona as the star striker pulled a leg muscle and has to miss Argentina's friendly against Russia, local media reported on Tuesday.

The Barcelona forward sustained the injury in training, just ahead of the Argentine national side's friendly in Moscow on Wednesday.

"We're not going to risk Messi for a single minute," angry Maradona told reporters. "I'm a wizard... I knew this match shouldn't have been organised."

Maradona said last week he was worried injuries could deprive him of key players for Argentina's World Cup qualifier at home to Brazil on Sept. 5.

Inter Milan's Diego Milito was the likely replacement in the team for Messi, who flew to Moscow from Barcelona's pre-season tour of England and North America accompanied by the Spanish club's physio.

(Xinhua News Agency August 12, 2009)

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