Argentina interim coach Lionel Scaloni confirmed Lionel Messi would miss his nation's friendlies next month, casting further doubt over the star's international future.
Messi, 31, missed Argentina's matches against Guatemala and Colombia earlier this month and has now been ruled out of their friendlies in October.
"I talked to him and we still think that the best thing is that he doesn't come, that he's not in," Scaloni told Fox Sports on Monday.
"We are in a different stage and these guys have to keep putting on the shirt of the national team and see what they show, which is the most important thing."
He has scored a record 65 goals in 128 matches for his nation, and briefly retired from Argentina duty in 2016.
Men's best player winner Luka Modric admitted he would have liked both Messi and Ronaldo to have been present.