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BREAKING NEWS: Messi left out of Argentina's Spain friendly

Argentina will be without Lionel Messi for the second friendly match in succession as a tight hamstring continues to sideline the star.

NEWS
28 Mar 2018, 00:19 IST
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Lionel Messi - cropped
Lionel Messi (R) training with Argentina

Lionel Messi has been left out of Argentina's squad for Tuesday's friendly against Spain due to a hamstring problem.

The forward had to sit out his team's 2-0 win over Italy in Manchester on Friday, Messi revealing before that fixture at Etihad Stadium that he has been carrying the issue "for some time", although it has not prevented him from impressing for Barcelona in LaLiga and the Champions League.

Jorge Sampaoli confirmed Argentina had prepared a game plan heavily focused on Messi, and the coach was hopeful the 30-year-old would recover to face Spain at Atletico Madrid's Wanda Metropolitano. 

But despite Messi offering an optimistic update on Monday, he will not be risked in the match against Julen Lopetegui's side. 

His absence from both games is a blow to Sampaoli's preparations for the World Cup, where Argentina face a seemingly difficult Group D containing Croatia, Iceland and Nigeria.

It remains to be seen if Messi will be fit to play when Barca return to LaLiga action away to Sevilla on Saturday.

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