Argentina boss reveals Lionel Messi is still suffering effects of covid
Messi was not called up for Argentina's upcoming World Cup qualifiers
Argentina manager Lionel Scaloni has revealed that Lionel Messi is still suffering from the effects of having covid-19, after the Paris Saint-Germain man contracted the 'roughest variant' during the winter break.
The 34-year-old has made just one appearance this year after contracting the virus in December, making his long-awaited return in PSG's 4-0 win over Reims last weekend.
However, Messi was not called up for Argentina's upcoming World Cup qualifiers with Chile and Colombia because he has still not completely recovered from the virus, according to Scaloni.
Scaloni, who will not be present for the qualifiers after he tested positive for covid himself, explained his captain's omission from the squad in a press conference on Wednesday.
"I talked to (Messi) after he tested positive for COVID. It affected him a lot, he had the roughest variant.
"It is important that he recovers, feels fit because there will be important moments ahead. I felt that it was not ideal for him to joins us [on international duty this weekend] not being at 100 per cent. He was affected for a some time."
Argentina boss Lionel Scaloni on Lionel Messi:
"I had a conversation with him and he told me that COVID affected him a lot. He had the toughest strain."
— Get French Football News (@GFFN) January 27, 2022
The 43-year-old also told reporters that his assistants, Walter Samuel and Roberto Ayala, will take charge in his absence, with Argentina having already secured a spot at the tournament in Qatar.
He added: "I am well, recovered. But the PCR remains positive."
Two more automatic spots are up for grabs in the South American qualifying stage, with several teams still able to secure their place.
The fifth-place team advances to a playoff against an Asian opponent and only last-place side Venezuela - who have registered just seven points - are out of contention.
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