BUENOS AIRES: Lionel Messi will be fit for Argentina’s World Cup qualifiers against Uruguay and Brazil despite his lack of game time, coach Lionel Scaloni said on Wednesday.
Messi’s Inter Miami side were eliminated before the MLS playoffs and he has been out of action for almost a month in the middle of the season.
“Messi is fine, he is doing well. Even though he’s played one game in the last 25 days, he’s been training normally, he’s fit and good,“ Scaloni told a press conference on Wednesday.
Argentina face Uruguay on Thursday before playing Brazil next Tuesday.
Record eight-times Ballon d’Or winner Messi played his last match with Inter Miami on Oct. 21, with the team failing to make the MLS playoffs after winning the Leagues Cup in August.
Messi’s brace gave Argentina a 2-0 victory over Peru last month.
Scaloni could not hide his excitement at coming up against his former Argentina coach Marcelo Bielsa, who is now in charge of Uruguay.
“All of us who have passed through his hands (as a coach) are marked. It’s a satisfaction to be able to face him and greet him,“ he said.
Argentina are top of the South American qualifying group with 12 points after four wins from four matches. Uruguay are second with seven points, level with third-placed Brazil and fourth-placed Venezuela.
“This team has already shown that it is capable of playing against any opponent… We will rise to the occasion, we are ready to compete,“ he added. – Reuters