Argentina forward Lionel Messi to miss friendly with Spain


Messi will return to the Argentina line-up against Spain at the Wanda Metropolitano on Tuesday, having missed Friday's 2-0 win over Italy in Manchester with a sore hamstring. "If there was a risk, Leo would have said so". In the last friendly he told us so.

"Winning the World Cup is the first hurdle to that".

"Leo has to play like he does for his club, to put him into another structure is madness".

The AFA website listed a possible starting XI without Messi, but did not confirm that he would not play.

It is thought he will not be played as a precautionary measure, rather than because the injury is severe, and that he should be fit for Barcelona when they face Roma in the Champions League quarter finals next week.

Two of the World Cup's leading contenders will meet in Madrid tonight but neither Spain nor Argentina have yet settled on a forward line for this summer. And on Monday, he added: "We have to understand him". We have to know how to accompany him.

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"We chose to wait for this game [against Italy] to rest, but I'm optimistic about playing against Spain". Alongside me in the national team he had to play more on the left, maybe he's not so used to that.

"Football is about the players, what I meant was he has the power to create links and communicate out on the field", he explained.

Costa, however, is back playing for Atletico Madrid, which makes him the likeliest choice when Spain open up against Portugal on June 15, while Morata still has three months to spark a revival. That's what I have done throughout my career.

"It's more hard for us to play there, I don't often go out to the left". I feel more sluggish.

He even has personal regrets after missing a key chance to score in the game, one that he says he would have taken differently given the opportunity to replay it.