Lionel Messi Kept Out Of Argentina’s Team To Improve his Match Fitness During The COVID-19 Rehabilitation Period

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Lionel Messi has been omitted from Argentina’s forthcoming World Cup qualifiers against Chile and Colombia in order for the forward to regain match fitness at PSG while recovering from COVID-19.

Lionel Messi Kept Out Of Argentina's Team To Improve his Match Fitness During The COVID-19 Rehabilitation Period

Messi hasn’t featured for PSG since a 1-1 draw in Ligue 1 against Lorient on December 22.

Argentina’s head coach Lionel Scaloni named his 27-man roster on Wednesday, leaving Lionel Messi at home in Paris, despite the fact that Argentina had already qualified for the World Cup.

During the Christmas holidays, the Argentina captain tested positive for COVID-19, but had a negative test when he returned to Paris from his hometown of Rosario on Jan. 5.

Messi, 34, Argentina’s highest goal scorer revealed last week on Instagram that recovering from coronavirus took “far longer” than he thought.

In November, PSG sports director Leonardo chastised Scaloni for picking Messi for the latest international window, claiming the forward was unfit to participate after missing multiple games due to knee and hamstring injuries.

Lionel Messi Kept Out Of Argentina's Team To Improve his Match Fitness During The COVID-19 Rehabilitation Period

PSG’s displeasure with Messi’s busy schedule were understood by Scaloni, who added that his national team had the right to call up the star.

Messi is scheduled to play in a Ligue 1 match against Reims on Sunday, after finishing second behind Robert Lewandowski for FIFA’s Best award on Monday.

Following his free transfer from Barcelona in August, he has six goals in 16 games for PSG this season.

Messi has started all 14 of Argentina’s World Cup qualifiers, with the exception of one, when he came on as a substitute in a 1-0 win over Uruguay on Nov. 13.

Argentina will go to Chile on January 27 and will host Colombia on February 1.

Scaloni’s team has 29 points from 13 games and is in second place, six points behind group leaders Brazil and six points ahead of third-place Ecuador in the standings.

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