Lionel Messi has been supported by his Argentine colleagues in the wake of his absence from the 4-2 defeat of Germany on Wednesday.
The Barcelona star was ruled out of the clash with the World Champions through what was described as a ‘nuisance injury’, giving rise to reports in Spain that he was suffering from tiredness and will be excused friendlies with his national team.
However, Argentina teammates Javier Mascherano and Sergio Romero were quick to jump to Messi’s defence.
“Messi did not come here because he was bothered by an injury. It’s logical that his club does not want to take risks. It’s just one game.
“Afterwards we cannot then make assumptions. Leo is very committed to the team,” Mascherano, the Argentine vice-captain, told reporters.
Romero went even further and asked for the 27-year-old to be left alone.
“It’s now time to leave Messi in peace. He is our captain and focal point,” commented the goalkeeper.
Argentina boss Tata Martino, who was in charge of Messi at Barcelona last season, also had his say on the matter.
“We have a fluid and transparent dialogue with Messi and I’m not going to clarify something that has been generated elsewhere.”
Luis Segura, President of the Argentine Football Association, confirmed Messi’s absence against Germany was down to injury and that he would continue to be a member of the squad in the future.
“Messi was selected but a medical report we were sent said the player is suffering from a muscle strain. Our team doctor Daniel Martinez is going to see him,” he told Argentina’s TyC Sports.