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Lionel Messi

Messi ruled out of Argentina's upcoming matches

03:28 BST 25/09/2018
Lionel Messi Argentina 2016
The Argentine's international future is unclear after confirmation he will be absent from the team's games in October

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.

Argentina are heading to Saudi Arabia to face Iraq on October 11 and Brazil five days later, but Messi will play no part.

"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."

Messi last played for Argentina at the World Cup in Russia, where they made a last-16 exit to eventual champions France.

He has scored a record 65 goals in 128 matches for his nation, and briefly retired from Argentina duty in 2016.

The Barcelona attacker recently came under fire for failing to attend the FIFA best player awards ceremony along with Cristiano Ronaldo.

Men's best player winner Luka Modric admitted he would have liked both Messi and Ronaldo to have been present.