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Messi ruled out of Venezuela qualifier

Published: 03rd September 2016 10:24 AM  |   Last Updated: 03rd September 2016 10:24 AM   |  A+A-

By AFP

BUENOS AIRES: Argentina striker Lionel Messi will miss Tuesday's 2018 World Cup qualifier away to Venezuela with a groin problem, national team coach Edgardo Bauza said on Friday.

"Unfortunately, he won't be able to play. We can't take any risks. We spoke with the doctor and it's the sensible thing to do. It must be treated, we must take care of him," Bauza told reporters at the team's training base in Buenos Aires.

Messi made a triumphant return after his short-lived international retirement by scoring the winning goal in Thursday's 1-0 victory over Uruguay in Mendoza.

The result moved Argentina to the top of the 10-team South American qualifying group after seven of 18 matches. The top four teams will automatically qualify for the 2018 finals in Russia.

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