Argentina's Messi again stood down for Mexico friendlies
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BUENOS AIRES – Lionel Messi was again left out of the Argentina squad announced on Thursday for two friendlies against Mexico later this month, while players from Copa Libertadores finalists Boca Juniors and River Plate were also omitted.
Messi's omission is no surprise as he hasn't played in any of four previous friendlies since the end of the World Cup in Russia and is believed to have asked to be excused from non-competitive matches for the rest of the year.
Argentina are due to face Mexico in Cordoba on November 16 and then again in Mendoza four days later.
But with the two-legged Copa Libertadores final between the two giants of Buenos Aires, Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni opted not to include Boca and River players in his 30-man list.
Even so, there was no room either for Paris Saint-Germain winger Angel Di Maria, Manchester City's in-form forward Sergio Aguero or Gonzalo Higuain of AC Milan.
Inter Milan duo Mauro Icardi and Lautaro Martinezare are included in the attacking options, as well as Angel Correa of Atletico Madrid and Juventus star Paulo Dybala.
Without Barcelona's Messi, Argentina beat Iraq 4-0 and Guatemala 3-0 but drew 0-0 with Colombia and lost their last outing 1-0 to bitter rivals Brazil.
In Messi's last appearance, they were knocked out of the World Cup 4-3 by eventual winners France at the last 16 stage.
Barcelona's Lionel Messi leaves the pitch after sustaining an injury during the Spanish La Liga soccer match between FC Barcelona and Sevilla CF at Camp Nou. Photo: EPA/Alberto Esteve
The Argentina squad is below.
Agustin Marchesin (Club America/MEX), Sergio Romero (Manchester United/ENG), Geronimo Rulli (Real Sociedad/ESP)
Ramiro Funes Mori (Villarreal/ESP), German Pezzela (Fiorentina/ITA), Renzo Saravia (Racing), Nicolás Tagliafico (Ajax/NED), Walter Kannemann (Gremio/BRA), Nicolas Otamendi (Manchester City/ENG), Gabriel Mercado (Sevilla/ESP), Emmanuel Mammana (Zenit/RUS), Juan Marcos Foyth (Tottenham/ENG)
Marcos Acuna (Sporting Lisbon/POR), Maximiliano Meza (Independiente), Franco Vazquez (Sevilla/ESP), Giovani Lo Celso (Real Betis/ESP), Leandro Paredes (Zenit/RUS), Santiago Ascacibar (Stuttgart/GER), Rodrigo Bataglia (Sporting Lisbon/POR) Matias Zaracho (Racing), Roberto Pereyra (Watford/ENG)
Giovani Simeone (Fiorentina/ITA), Paulo Dybala (Juventus/ITA), Erik Lamela (Tottenham/ENG), Eduardo Salvio (Benfica/POR), Rodrigo De Paul (Udinese/ITA), Franco Cervi (Benfica/POR), Angel Correa (Atletico Madrid/ESP), Lautaro Martinez (Inter Milan/ITA), Mauro Icardi (Inter Milan/ITA)