Messi was the only attacking player not to be substituted by manager Lionel Scaloni, but Barcelona has confirmed he will return to the club to recover for the rest of the international break.

By 90Min
March 23, 2019

Messi was the only attacking player not to be substituted by manager Lionel Scaloni, but Barcelona has confirmed he will return to the club to recover for the rest of the international break.

Argentina captain Lionel Messi will be sent back to Barcelona for rehabilitation after picking up a pelvic injury during a 3-1 defeat against Venezuela.

The 31-year-old, along with Inter's Lautaro Martínez, was one of the few shining lights for La Albiceleste, but goals from Salomón Rondón, Jhon Murillo and Josef Martínez gave Venezuela the win at the Wanda Metropolitano.

"Lionel Messi did not have the return to international action that he would have wanted, and an injury picked up on Friday night means he will miss Argentina's game against Morocco on Tuesday," Barcelona confirmed in their statement on their official website.

"Whilst he would feature from start to finish, a problem with his pubis means that Messi will not play in the second friendly of the international break."

It's reported that his return to his club is more of a precaution, no additional tests will be needed and he should be able to be ready for Barça's next game against Espanyol the following Saturday. 

Juventus' Paulo Dybala is likely to walk straight into Messi's position in the team when Argentina take on Morocco in Tangier, one of the northernmost cities in the country, on Tuesday.

Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Giovani Lo Celso, who is on loan with Real Betis this season, could also be knocking on the door to fill Messi's shoes after having to play a slightly deeper role against Venezuela.

Argentina's match against Morocco will be one of the last times they will play together before the Copa América this summer.

La Albiceleste has been drawn alongside Colombia, Paraguay and Qatar - who along with Japan is one of two teams included in the competition who play outside of the Americas - in Group B.

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