Despite his recent struggles with fitness and injuries at his club Inter Miami, Argentina has included Lionel Messi in their squad for the upcoming South American World Cup qualifiers.
Messi missed Inter’s recent matches and has played only 37 minutes since September 3rd. Argentina is set to host Paraguay on October 12 and then play Peru five days later in the CONMEBOL qualifiers for the 2026 World Cup.
Despite his absence from club matches, Messi played and scored for Argentina on September 7 in a 1-0 win over Ecuador but later asked to be substituted due to physical discomfort. The details of his injury have not been fully disclosed, with differing explanations from Miami’s coach Gerardo ‘Tata’ Martino.
Messi’s absence from Inter Miami’s games has affected their performance, as they aim to reach the MLS playoffs. However, Martino indicated that Messi’s condition is improving ahead of their next game against Cincinnati.
“I think he’s getting closer to playing again. We said, we’ll evaluate him… to see if he’s in condition (to play),” he said.
“The most important thing is he’s leaving his injury behind and slowly discovering his best form… we’ll see what’s best ahead of the next game,” he added.
Lionel Scaloni has named Facundo Farias, a 21-year-old winger from Messi’s Miami team, for his first-ever call-up to the national team squad. Additionally, Manchester United’s winger, Alejandro Garnacho, has earned a place in the squad for the upcoming qualifiers.
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