Barcelona star, Lionel Messi will miss Argentina’s friendly against Morocco next week after picking up a groin injury in the shock 3-1 defeat to Venezuela on Friday as he made his first international appearance since the 2018 World Cup.
Argentina vs Venezuela 1-3 Highlights & All Goals (First Half) pic.twitter.com/4cn4YpB5c9— JALLOH LUDA CRIS CRIS (@barry_luda) March 22, 2019
Barcelona star Messi started the fixture following a self-imposed eight-month exile in which he missed six friendlies since the tournament in Russia, which they exited in the last 16 at the hands of eventual champions France.
🔴 OFFICIEL ! Lionel Messi ne fera pas le déplacement au Maroc ! 🇲🇦— Lionel Messi 🇫🇷 (@Messi10_France) March 23, 2019
👉 La Fédération Argentine de football a annoncé sur son compte Twitter que « Léo Messi souffrait d'une aggravation de douleurs pubiennes. Il est déclaré forfait pour le match amical face au Maroc ». pic.twitter.com/vTLjlpci8a
The Argentine Football Federation tweeted the injury update following the loss at Atletico Madrid’s Wanda Metropolitano stadium.
Gonzalo Martinez has also been ruled out of the fixture in Tangier with a thigh problem.
Messi’s 129th cap started poorly as Newcastle forward Rondon controlled a long ball before hammering home a half-volley past Argentine goalkeeper Franco Armani.
The pick of the goals came as 23-year-old Murillo scored for only a third time in 17 internationals.
He received the ball on the corner of the box, was given plenty of space by the Albiceleste defence and the winger fired home powerfully past Armani with a minute left of the first half
Argentina’s Martinez gave his side some hope on the hour mark as Messi found Giovanni Lo Celso who played in the Inter forward to finish.
Rafael Dudamel’s side, ranked 32nd in the world, claimed a third after Martinez was tripped in the box.
The Atlanta United attacker skipped up to take the penalty, sending Armani the wrong way to score with 15 minutes remaining.
Best penalty I see so far from the yr start, Venezuela vs Argentina.. pic.twitter.com/1YitTDVI50— porridge96 (@PorridgeMarquel) March 23, 2019
The friendly against Morocco on Tuesday comes as they prepare for this year’s Copa America, held in Brazil between June-July.