Messi to miss Argentina World Cup qualifiers against Chile, Colombia

Lionel Messi

BUENOS AIRES – Lionel Messi will miss Argentina’s 2022 World Cup qualifiers against Chile and Colombia as he continues to recover from a bout of COVID-19.

The Argentine Football Association (AFA) confirmed this on Wednesday.

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The news came a day after the Argentina captain returned to training for his club, Paris Saint-Germain, following four weeks of inactivity.

The AFA published a 27-man list for the qualifiers, to be played in Calama, northern Chile, on Jan 27 and the central Argentine city of Cordoba five days later. The entity did not mention Messi in a brief statement that accompanied the list, according to Xinhua.

Messi, 34, has not played since PSG drew 1-1 at FC Lorient in France’s Ligue 1 on Dec 22.

Last week, the forward said he had taken longer than expected to overcome the virus.

Argentina are second in the 10-team South American qualifying group and are already guaranteed a place at football’s showpiece tournament in Qatar, to be played from Nov 21 to Dec 18.