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Lionel Messi To Miss Argentina-Peru Copa America Clash: Team

Lionel Messi in action© AFP

Lionel Messi will miss Argentina’s final Copa America group game against Peru after complaining of muscle tightness, team officials said on Friday. Assistant coach Walter Samuel told a press conference that the Inter Miami superstar was “day-by-day” following an injury to his right adductor muscle. “Leo had a problem in the last game, he won’t be there for this game,” Samuel said.  “We are going to go day-by-day waiting for its evolution.” Samuel, meanwhile, played down the impact of Messi’s absence on the rest of the team.

“The team has always proven to be up to the task before when he wasn’t there,” said Samuel, hinting that veteran Angel Di Maria may start in place of Messi.

Argentina have already booked their place in the quarter-finals after wins against Canada and Chile in their opening two matches.

A draw in Saturday’s game against Peru at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami will guarantee Argentina qualify for the last eight as group winners.

Argentina is expected to rest several first-choice players against Peru, although Samuel insisted on Friday the world champions would seek a win.

“Peru has top players; we are taking this game with the utmost seriousness,” said Samuel, who will be in charge on the bench with coach Lionel Scaloni serving a one-game suspension.

Scaloni and Argentina were sanctioned after the team were late to emerge for the second half in their games against Chile and Canada.

Samuel said Scaloni was “a little bitter” about the suspension.

“We consider ourselves a correct coaching staff and in all these years we’ve never had these kind of sanctions,” Samuel said.

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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Bernard Greenhall
Bernard Greenhall

Bernard is a sports and physical education expert with years of experience. He's passionate about promoting health and wellness through physical activity, and he's worked with athletes and non-athletes alike to help them achieve their fitness goals. Bernard holds a degree in Physical Education and is dedicated to staying up-to-date with the latest trends and research in his field.

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