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Jun 28, 2024 5:20 pm

Lionel Messi (groin) to sit out Argentina’s last Copa group match

lionel messi

Argentina star Lionel Messi will not play in his national team’s final Copa America group stage match against Peru on Saturday in order to rest a groin/adductor injury.

Argentina has already booked a berth in the knockout stage by winning its first two Group A matches against Canada and Chile.

Messi played the entire match against Chile on Tuesday, but afterward he said his adductor and right hamstring both bothered him early on.

Argentina assistant coach Walter Samuel told reporters of the team’s decision on Friday.

“Leo had an issue in the last match. He won’t be joining us in the next one,” Samuel said through a translator. “We will go day-to-day awaiting his evaluation. We also had a matter of overload so in order to avoid questions on that topic we won’t have him for the next match.”

Argentine outlet TYCSports reported that Messi’s injury is considered minimal and he could return for the team’s quarterfinal match July 4.

The third group match will take place in Miami Gardens, Fla., not far from the home base of Messi’s club team Inter Miami of MLS. USA Today reported that the Argentina-Peru match was the most popular Copa America ticket thus far.

“The absence of Leo means a lot to us and to football in general,” Samuel said.

The eight-time Ballon d’Or award winner, now 37 years old, has dealt with multiple nagging injuries since joining Inter Miami 11 months ago.

–Field Level Media

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