Messi to miss Argentina-Morocco friendly with injury

Buenos: Lionel Messi will miss Argentina’s friendly against Morocco because of a groin injury, the country’s football federation has said.

The 31-year-old felt pain after completing the full 90 minutes of Argentina’s 3-1 defeat by Venezuela in Madrid, reports Xinhua news agency.

In a statement the Argentine Football Association (AFA) said Messi suffered an ‘exacerbation’ of an existing pubis problem.

It was the Barcelona forward’s first match for the Albiceleste since the team’s 4-3 defeat to France last June in the last 16 of the World Cup in Russia.

Attacking midfielder Gonzalo Martinez has also been ruled out of Tuesday’s match in Tangier after suffering a hamstring injury, the AFA said.

Newcastle United forward Salomon Rondon gave Venezuela an early lead at the Wanda Metropolitano and Jhon Murillo made it 2-0 on the stroke of halftime.

Inter Milan striker Lautaro Martinez scored just before the hour mark for Argentina but Josef Martinez converted a late penalty to secure a memorable win for the Vinotinto.