Messi to miss Italy-Argentina through injury

The Albiceleste skipper has left Rome ahead of Wednesday's friendly due to muscular problems, following in Mario Balotelli's withdrawing footsteps
Barcelona forward Lionel Messi will miss Argentina's friendly with Italy on Wednesday due to injury.

Hot on the heels of Mario Balotelli's withdrawal from the Azzurri squad, the Ballon d'Or winner has left Rome following the two teams having met with Pope Francis in Vatican City.

The Albiceleste captain had struggled with a muscular problem while with the Blaugrana during their tour of Asia in pre-season and was unable to shake it off before the Stadio Olimpico friendly.

With La Liga's new season looming - Barca face Levante on Sunday - the 26-year-old will be keen to return to full fitness and has returned to Camp Nou to rest and recuperate instead of feature against Italy.