International Friendly: I will not be in the team against Nigeria – Messi

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Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi has confirmed that he will play no part in Tuesday’s friendly in Krasnodar, Russia between Argentina and the Super Eagles of Nigeria.

Messi was in action for Argentina in Saturday’s 1-0 win over 2018 World Cup hosts Russia in Moscow but will return to his base in Barcelona, Spain ahead of his club’s Spanish La Liga fixture next weekend against Leganes.

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“We want to reach the World Cup in the best way,” Messi was quoted on the official Twitter handle of the Argentine Football Association on Saturday.

“Sampaoli regulated me a little bit and that I won’t play in the game against Nigeria.” Meanwhile, Argentina coach Jorge Sampaoli was pleased with his side’s dominance over Russia in the friendly game.

“The team dominated Rusia at home and we have to continue moving forward collectively ahead of what’s coming. We have to continue on this path,” he said. “Messi and Aguero has so much understanding during the game which was good.”

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Messi has often been a nightmare to Nigerian teams at all levels, spearheading Argentina victories over the Nigeria U-20s, U-23s at the 2008 Olympics, and the Super Eagles at the 2010 and 2014 World Cups.

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