Messi to miss Argentina friendlies: Reports

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Buenos Aires, Aug 15 (IANS) Star forward Lionel Messi will miss Argentina’s friendlies against Guatemala and Colombia next month as he takes a break from international football, according to Argentine press reports.

Doubts have been raised over the FC Barcelona star’s future with the national team following Argentina’s disappointing World Cup campaign in Russia this summer, which ended with a 3-4 loss to eventual winners France in the last 16, reports Xinhua news agency.

The Barcelona forward struggled throughout the tournament, scoring just one goal and missing a penalty in the team’s opening group match against Iceland.

He declined media interviews after the competition and some reports in Argentina have suggested the 31-year-old might quit the national team.

Messi briefly retired from international football following the 2016 Copa America before reversing his decision weeks later.

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Argentina will play Guatemala in Los Angeles on September 7 followed by a clash with Colombia in New Jersey four days later.

The two-time World Cup winners will be co-coached by former Argentina players Lionel Scaloni and Pablo Aimar following the dismissal of Jorge Sampaoli in July.

–IANS

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