Lionel Messi has been declared fit and set to line up for Argentina in their crunch World Cup qualifier against rivals Uruguay, according to national team boss Lionel Scaloni.
(This article was originally uploaded on 12.11.2021)
Argentina, who can virtually clinch qualification for Qatar if they win in Uruguay and beat already-qualified Brazil at home on Tuesday, are 21/20 to win in Montevideo. Uruguay are 3/1 and the draw is 21/10.
Argentina are risking angering Messi's club Paris Saint-Germain by picking a player who has missed his last two matches in France due to "knee and hamstring pains".
Messi has made a quiet start to life in Ligue 1, playing only five league games for the French giants since his sensational summer switch from Barcelona, and he has yet to find the net domestically.
He has, though, scored three goals in three appearances in the Champions League, helping PSG to the verge of qualification for the last 16 while also appearing in four World Cup qualifiers for his country.
Having missed the last two matches, however, the Parisian club had hoped to keep their star signing at home to get him fit for a crunch double-header against Nantes and Manchester City straight after the international break.
"Leo is fine, he trained yesterday," Argentina boss Scaloni told reporters. "He was improving, the first few days he did differentiated work, then he intensified more and is available.
"This afternoon we do another training and if the conditions are good you know what I think. This afternoon we will make the last decision. In principle he is fine."