Lionel Messi: Argentina team-mate Di Maria calls for ‘calm’ over injury to Inter Miami striker

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Argentina midfielder Angel Di Maria has called for “calm” over the hamstring injury which has ruled captain Lionel Messi out of his country’s March international friendlies.

Inter Miami striker Messi sustained the problem while playing against Nashville in the Concacaf Champions Cup earlier this month, keeping him out of two club matches and Argentina’s 3-0 win at home to El Salvador on Saturday.

“Leo is always missed,” Di Maria told D Sports, via Goal translation. “Having the best in history, being able to train and play with him is the best.

“It’s a shame that this happened to him but we have to be calm. It’s better that it happened now and he is fine for the Copa America.”

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Miami manager Tata Martino, whose side dominated possession but produced only two shots on target in a 4-0 MLS defeat at New York Red Bulls on Saturday, expects a date for Messi’s comeback to become clearer next week.

New York City visit the Chase Stadium in the league on Saturday, followed by Monterrey in the first leg of the Champions Cup quarter-finals on April 4.

“He’s recovering,” Martino said. “He’s been out on the pitch for a few days. He’s improving day by day, so we’re keeping an eye on his progress.”

Messi injury: Captain ‘ace of spades’

Messi has scored five times in five appearances for Miami this season and contributed two assists.

The 36-year-old has scored in one of his last four international matches, netting both goals in a 2-0 World Cup qualifying win in Peru in October.

Argentina host Costa Rica in a friendly on Wednesday and begin their 2024 Copa America campaign on June 21.

“We hope that Leo recovers,” midfielder Rodrigo De Paul said on Friday, via Mundo Albiceleste.

“He is our captain. He is always present in one way or another. If he is fine, we have the ace of spades.”

Ben Miller
Ben Miller
Ben has more than 10 years' experience in sports journalism, covering two EURO tournaments, European club competitions, the Premier League, EFL and WSL and a variety of other major sporting events.

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