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Argentina's Messi sidelined for World Cup qualifier vs Venezuela

September 03, 2016 20:20 IST

Injured Lionel Messi will miss Argentina’s 2018 World Cup qualifier away to Venezuela on Tuesday with a groin problem.

Argentina's Lionel Messi"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," national team coach Edgardo Bauza said on Friday at the team's training base in Buenos Aires.

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

Argentina are now top of the 10-team South American qualifying group after seven of 18 matches. The top four teams will automatically qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup finals in Russia. 

Image: Argentina's Lionel Messi in action

Photograph: Marcos Brindicci