Sunday, October 24, 2021

Messi leads Argentina squad for World Cup qualifiers

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Buenos Aires, Sep 28 (IANS) Lionel Messi will spearhead Argentina’s squad for the next triple-header of South American World Cup qualifiers, the Argentine Football Association said on Monday.

The 34-year-old was named on the Albiceleste’s 30-man list despite having missed Paris Saint-Germain’s last two matches because of a knee injury.

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Manager Lionel Scaloni also included Paulo Dybala, who left the pitch in tears during Juventus’ 3-2 win over Sampdoria on Sunday with an apparent thigh injury.

Meanwhile, Scaloni recalled Bayer Leverkusen forward Lucas Alario and Monterrey goalkeeper Esteban Andrada.

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Argentina will meet Paraguay in Asuncion on October 7 before hosting Uruguay and Peru in Buenos Aires on October 10 and 14, Xinhua reports.

Scaloni’s men are currently second behind Brazil in the 10-team South American group with five wins and three draws from their eight matches so far.

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The top four teams will earn an automatic spot in next year’s World Cup in Qatar while the fifth-ranked side will advance to an intercontinental playoff.

–IANS

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