Buenos Aires: Paris Saint-Germain star Lionel Messi has been included in Argentina’s squad for 2022 World Cup qualifiers against Uruguay and Brazil despite injury concerns, the Argentine Football Association (AFA) has announced.
Messi missed PSG’s 2-2 draw at Leipzig in the Champions League group stage Wednesday because of hamstring and knee problems, though they are understood not to be serious. Argentina manager Lionel Scaloni also included Juventus forward Paulo Dybala, who has recovered a thigh injury that left him out of the Albiceleste’s October qualifiers, reports Xinhua.
The 34-man squad also includes newcomers Enzo Fernandez, Santiago Simon, Exequiel Zeballos, Cristian Medina, Gaston Avila, Federico Gomes and Matias Soule. Argentina will meet Uruguay in Montevideo November 12 and Brazil in Buenos Aires four days later.
The two-time World Cup winners are currently second in the South American qualifying group with seven wins and four draws from 11 matches, six points behind Brazil.
The Argentina squad:
Goalkeepers: Franco Armani (River Plate), Emiliano Martinez (Aston Villa), Juan Musso (Atalanta), Federico Gomes Gerth (Tigre).
Defenders: Gonzalo Montiel (Sevilla), Nahuel Molina Lucero (Udinese), Cristian Romero (Tottenham), German Pezzella (Real Betis), Nicolas Otamendi (Benfica), Lucas Martinez Quarta (Fiorentina), Nicolas Tagliafico (Ajax), Lisandro Martinez (Ajax), Marcos Acuna (Sevilla) Gaston Avila (Rosario Central).
Midfielders: Guido Rodriguez (Betis), Leandro Paredes (PSG), Enzo Fernandez (River Plate), Rodrigo De Paul (Atletico de Madrid), Exequiel Palacios (Bayern Leverkusen), Giovanni Lo Celso (Tottenham), Nicolas Dominguez (Bologna), Santiago Simon (River Plate), Cristian Medina (Boca Juniors), Matias Soule (Juventus), Thiago Almada (Velez Sarsfield).
Forwards: Angel Di Maria (PSG), Lionel Messi (PSG), Lautaro Martinez (Inter Milan), Angel Correa (Atletico de Madrid), Paulo Dybala (Juventus), Julian Alvarez (River Plate), Joaquin Correa (Inter Milan), Nicolas Gonzalez (Fiorentina), Ezequiel Zeballos (Boca Juniors).