Argentina boss insists they are 'within their rights' to call up Messi despite PSG anger 2 months ago

Argentina boss insists they are 'within their rights' to call up Messi despite PSG anger

Messi missed PSG's last two matches with a knee injury

Argentina manager Lionel Scaloni has defended his decision to call up Lionel Messi for their upcoming World Cup qualifiers, despite Paris Saint-Germain's opposition to the decision.

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The 34-year-old missed PSG's last two matches with a knee injury that he sustained in the 2-1 win over Lille on October 29.

Despite that, and thanks in part to a reported clause in his contract which allows him to prioritise international games, he was still called up to play for his country in their upcoming qualifiers against Uruguay and Brazil.

PSG's sporting director labelled Argentina's decision to call Messi up as 'not logical', arguing that the forward is still in the 'rehabilitation phase' with his knee.

"We do not agree to let a player go by selection who, for us, is not in physical condition or who is in the rehabilitation phase," said Leonardo in an interview with Le Parisien.

"It is not logical, and these types of situations deserve a real agreement with Fifa."

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However, Argentina's manager has defended his decision to name Albiceleste's captain in his squad.

Speaking at a press conference, Scaloni said: "At the moment, [Messi] has played for Argentina more than for his club.

"We have a good relationship with Leonardo - Walter Samuel knows him. It's understandable due to the three fixtures in September and then again in October.

"There were many matches and journeys, and what they are saying is understandable.

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"But we are well within our rights to call him up and play him if he is physically able [to play]."

Messi was seen taking part in some contact training earlier this week, with suggestions that his knee injury was not be as bad as originally feared appearing to be true.

Argentina - who are currently second in their group - take on Uruguay on Friday night, hoping to close the gap on group-leaders Brazil and take a step closer to progressing to the World Cup in Qatar next year.

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