Di Maria withdraws from Argentina squad with muscle injury

Di Maria Argentina France Francia World Cup  2018 30062018
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The PSG star has suffered a knock and pulled out of international duty as his nation prepares to face Venezuela and Morocco

Argentina has announced that PSG star Angel Di Maria has withdrawn from the national squad ahead of friendly matches with Venezuela and Morocco. 

Di Maria was part of Argentina's inition selection, along with the likes of Paulo Dybala, Nicolas Otamendi​ and Lionel Messi, who returned to the side for the first time since the 2018 World Cup. 

But the PSG star has now been forced to pull out of a pair of friendly encounters with a muscle injury. 

Di Maria has been in fine form at the club level of late, with Marseille manager Rudi Garcia claiming he and club team-mate Kylian Mbappe were "extraterrestrials" following a 3-1 loss to the Paris outfit

The winger has racked up 14 goals and 13 assists in all competitions with PSG this season.

Now it seems a hamstring strain will keep him from bringing that quality to his national team for the time being. 

But Argentina will not be lacking for options heading into the friendly matches, with Giovani Lo Celso, Gonzalo "Pity" Martinez and Manuel Lanzini all still in the team along with Messi and Dybala, though the loss of Di Maria will still be felt by a team looking to find some form ahead of competitive action this summer. 

Argentina are set to face Venezuela at the Wanda Metropolitano stadium in Madrid on March 23.

Three days later, they will take on Morocco in Tangier.

Those fixtures will form part of the build-up to the 2019 Copa America for the Albiceleste.

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That competition is due to be staged in Brazil this summer, where Argentina will face Colombia, Paraguay and Qatar in Group B. 

Argentina have been in search of their first major honours since winning Copa America in 1993. 

They have a history of coming up just short in recent times, having finished as runners-up in the 2014 World Cup and both the 2015 and 2016 Copa America competitions.