Lionel Messi, the star of Paris Saint-Germain, who recently recovered from a Covid-19 infection, was not in Argentina’s squad on Wednesday for the World Cup qualifiers against Chile and Colombia, with the two former winners having already qualified for Qatar 2022. Argentina will face Chile in Santiago on January 27 and Colombia at home on February 1 with both opponents still battling to qualify for the tournament. Messi contracted the virus while on vacation in his hometown of Rosario in Argentina in December. On January 5, PSG announced that Messi, who joined them from Barcelona last year, was back in France after testing negative.
This week, the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner and captain of Argentina was back in full training for the French club.
He missed the French cup match against Vannes and two league games, the 1-1 draw with Lyon and last Saturday’s 2-0 defeat of Brest.
In total, Messi has missed 10 league games since joining PSG in August, and will make his first appearance of 2022 against Reims on Sunday.
Messi is the only one of his fellow Argentina PSG team-mates not to have been called up for the qualifiers, with winger Angel Di Maria and midfielder Leandro Paredes in the roster, announced by coach Lionel Scaloni.
There were few changes to the 27-man squad, with Tottenham’s Christian Romero injured, and just two Argentine club players, both from River Plate: veteran goalkeeper Franco Armani and forward Julian Alvarez, who was named South American Footballer of the Year for 2021.
Goalkeepers: Franco Armani (River Plate), Emiliano Martinez (Aston Villa/ENG), Juan Musso (Atalanta/ITA), Esteban Andrada (Monterrey/MEX)
Defenders: Nahuel Molina (Udinese/ITA), Gonzalo Montiel (Seville/ESP), German Pezzella (Real Betis/ESP), Nicolas Otamendi (Benfica/POR), Lisandro Martinez (Ajax/NED), Lucas Martinez Quarta (Fiorentina/ITA ), Nicolas Tagliafico (Ajax/NED), Marcos Acuna (Seville/ESP)
Midfielders: Lucas Ocampo (Seville/ESP), Rodrigo De Paul (Atletico Madrid/ESP), Leandro Paredes (Paris Saint-Germain/FRA), Guido Rodriguez (Real Betis/SPA), Giovanni Lo Celso (Tottenham/ENG), Alexis Mac Allister (Brighton/ENG), Emiliano Buendia (Aston Villa/ENG), Alejandro Gomez (Seville/ESP)
Attackers: Nicolas Gonzalez (Fiorentina/ITA), Angel Di Maria (Paris Saint-Germain/FRA), Angel Correa (Atletico Madrid/ESP), Lautaro Martinez (Inter Milan/ITA), Julian Alvarez (River Plate), Joaquin Correa ( Inter Milan/ITA)
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