Argentina rest Messi for World Cup qualifiers

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, January 20, 2022
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Argentina's Lionel Messi (Front) vies with Brazil's Casemiro during the 2021 Copa America football tournament final match in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on July 10, 2021. (Xinhua/Lucio Tavora)

Lionel Messi will miss Argentina's 2022 World Cup qualifiers against Chile and Colombia as he continues to recover from a bout of COVID-19, the Argentine Football Association (AFA) said on Wednesday.

The news came a day after the Argentina captain returned to training for his club, Paris Saint-Germain, following four weeks of inactivity.

The AFA published a 27-man list for the qualifiers, to be played in Calama, northern Chile, on January 27 and the central Argentine city of Cordoba five days later. The entity did not mention Messi in a brief statement that accompanied the list.

Messi, 34, has not played since PSG drew 1-1 at FC Lorient in France's Ligue 1 on December 22.

Last week, the forward said he had taken longer than expected to overcome the virus.

Argentina are second in the 10-team South American qualifying group and are already guaranteed a place at football's showpiece tournament in Qatar, to be played from November 21 to December 18.

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